In an unusual step, just hours before the release of the State Comptroller's report on Operation Protective Edge, the State Comptroller released a response to criticism leveled at him by the Prime Minister.
"The report reveals significant deficiencies in the Security Cabinet's conduct, at whose head stands the Prime Minister," writes Yosef Shapira in a statement, noting that "even those who were audited know very well that the audit was conducted in accordance with the law, by teams of skilled and professional auditors - reliably, thoroughly, and without bias."
Shapira notes that "the State Comptroller's office and the State Comptroller himself have recently been subject to attacks and attempts at delegitimization, especially from the political echelon, presumably to deter the institution of the Comptroller and undermine its status as defined in the Basic Law."
He said, "Contrary to the Prime Minister's words, in the report's introduction the State Comptroller wrote the following: 'The courage, resourcefulness, and initiative of the commanders and the soldiers allowed the IDF to fight in the tunnel-rich Gaza Strip, to push on to achieve their mission, to the best of their ability to take care of the tunnels, and to reach the achievements that they did in this operation.'"
The Comptroller also claims that "It is of vital importance that the political level, as well as other factors in the political system such as the IDF and the security establishment, will focus on studying the report and drawing the necessary conclusions from it and not slander. In order to improve the work processes at all levels, in order to better prepare for current and emerging threats and for the military campaign that could erupt, even without prior warning."
Netanyahu said yesterday at a meeting of the Likud Knesset faction, "Unlike the State Comptroller, I back the commanders of the IDF, the Shin Bet, and the defense establishment. The soldiers of the IDF fought fiercely and Israel is proud of them."