Israeli commission says Olmert ”failed” in Lebanon war
A government commission that probed Israel's summer war against Hizbullah in Lebanon accused Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday of "severe failure," saying he hastily led the country into the conflict without a comprehensive plan.
The report cited a "severe failure in the lack of judgment, responsibility and caution."
Olmert, after receiving a copy of the panel's findings, said that "failures will be remedied."
Olmert already faced calls for his resignation along with his defense minister, Amir Peretz. Aides said before the interim findings were released that Olmert had no intention of stepping down and would fight for his political survival.
Relying on massive airstrikes recommended by the military chief, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, Olmert pledged to his people that Israel would crush Hizbullah. However, the Shiite movement pounded northern Israel with nearly 4,000 rockets.
In 34 days of fighting, over 1,000 Lebanese civilians and combatants were killed, as were 119 Israeli soldiers and 39 civilians.
The report said that Halutz, a former air force commander, did not provide political leaders with a sufficient range of military options, played down the rocket threat and silenced dissenting opinions within the army command, Israeli media said.
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