|Israel to conduct investigation into Lebanon war
[ 2006-09-18 09:22 ]
|Israel has decided to conduct an official investigation
into the war in Lebanon, where the army battled Islamic Hezbollah
guerrillas for 34 days. The decision follows a stormy debate over who
should take responsibility for a campaign that was widely seen as a
The Israeli Cabinet appointed a commission
of inquiry, in the wake of fierce public criticism of the
way the government and army handled the war in Lebanon. From reservists to politicians to ordinary
people, Israelis are asking why the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF, failed
to defeat Hezbollah.
"We lost, and we lost against a group of some 4,000 Hezbollah fighters.
The IDF, which is a mighty and efficient, and very good army - we lost,"
said Former Defense Minister Moshe Arens.
Arens, from the opposition Likud party, believes top officials in the
government should resign.
"The primary problem was the total mismanagement of this war, and that
came from the political level, the prime minister first and foremost,
[and] the minister of defense," he added.
However, the commission falls short of demands for an independent
inquiry that would have the power to dismiss officials.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has resisted calls for an independent
investigation, saying it would be too time-consuming and distract the army
from the urgent task of defending the country. He said the inquiry
appointed by the Cabinet would have authority comparable to a state
Mr. Olmert said he hopes the commission "will finish its work quickly,
and will help Israel to prepare better for the challenges ahead."
Critics say the prime minister avoided an independent commission,
because he was afraid the findings would topple the government.
|commission of inquiry :
reservist : a member of a