Comptroller to investigate tunnel threat scandal

Following claims by Security Cabinet ministers that they were not properly informed about the extent of the threat, several of them have already been summoned to testify
Photo credit: Lior Va'anunu, Raphael Hayoun/Channel 2 News

As reported exclusively on Channel 2 News Monday evening, State Comptroller Yosef Shapira has begun work on a report which will deal with Operation Protective Edge, and specifically the terror tunnel threat. The report is scheduled to be published after the elections, but some of its preparation will take place during the election period and is bound to affect it, since many of the candidates were in the Security Cabinet during last summer's conflict in Gaza.

This report seems to be prompted by the fact that several Cabinet ministers have said recently they did not know about the extent of the tunnel threat, notably Bayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett. In response, senior security officials, such as Chief of IDF Staff Benny Gantz and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, publically rejected these claims and said the threat was made known to the government long before the operation started. The Comptroller has already summoned a number of Cabinet ministers to testify in front of an elite security team, in order to gather information which will help determine what caused the delay in starting the ground offensive against the tunnels.

State Comptroller Yosef Shapira Photo credit: Flash 90/Channel 2 News

There are two main contradictory claims within the Cabinet regarding this issue. Bennett said he had tried to push for a ground offensive early on but the IDF disabled it. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the other hand, said he wanted to wait for international legitimacy before sending in the ground troops. He also said there had been a request from Egypt that Israel refrain from launching a ground offensive in the early stages of the operation.

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