Who hid and who warned? The stars of the Operation Protective Edge report

Netanyahu knew about the tunnel threat and did not update the cabinet. Ya’alon did not make sure that there was an operational plan. Gantz did not warn the Cabinet about the possible escalation and Bennett demanded an operational plan. These are the senior level officials who stood behind the State Controller’s report on Operation Protective Edge.
Gantz, Netanyahu and Bennett Photo Credit: Flash 90/Channel 2 News

The State Comptroller’s report that was released today heavily criticizes Israel’s defense establishment and political hierarchy before and throughout Operation Protective Edge in 2014. As previously reported by JOL, the report highlights a series of failures that impacted the ground forces’ conduct in Gaza and regarding the tunnels.

The report identified a number of key players who played a role in either hiding critical information or not warning about a possible escalation.

Former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit/Channel 2 news

According to the report’s conclusions, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon were well aware of the tunnel threat yet did not update the Cabinet about the matter nor did either of them ensure that there was an operational plan for dealing with the tunnels.

In addition, the report claims that Ya’alon dismissed all suggestions for dealing with the tunnel threat and made no attempt to ensure that the IDF reported the tunnel threat to the Cabinet. The report also argued that although former Israeli Chief of Staff Benny Gantz warned of a possible escalation, he also did not report the tunnel threat to the Cabinet and was uninterested in discussing any sort of action plan for it.

Israeli Minister Naftali Bennett demanded military plans Photo Credit: Miriam Alster, Flash 90/Channel 2 News

On the other hand, Israeli Minister Naftali Bennett did in fact demand military action plans to be utilized the tunnels and requested a data bank on targets in Gaza. The report also noted that Bennett was one of only two ministers who asked the military to discuss Hamas’ potential tactics for infiltrating into Israel through the tunnels in order to carry out terror attacks. Bennett told his fellow ministers a week before the operation began that there were dozens of tunnels that infiltrated into Israel.

The State Comptroller’s report also discusses the role played by the remaining cabinet ministers, other military officials and the former directors of the Shin Bet and the Mossad regarding the failures that occurred during Operation Protective Edge regarding the tunnels.

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