It is too soon to call for a commission of inquiry to investigate Operation Protective Edge, Knesset members on the far Left said on Wednesday.
While the foreign press has focused on the death toll in the Gaza Strip, there are no MKs from Zionist parties who have called for an internal probe of charges of excessive force by the IDF. However, there has been much talk in domestic media and the Knesset corridors about the need to investigate if and why Hamas’s network of terrorist tunnels caught the IDF by surprise.
Prof. Yehezkel Dror, who was a member of the Winograd Commission that investigated the 2006 Second Lebanon War, said a similarly independent committee should probe why Israelis were in the dark about tunnels. He said the issue cannot be investigated by the IDF on its own.
No MKs endorsed that, however, with several saying it was too soon for such declarations.
“A commission of inquiry is not a game,” Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz said. “It would require the right reasons and the right atmosphere in the public.”
Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On said such a call would have to be considered “little by little” and would have to be made at exactly the right time.
But even Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) said there would have to be come kind of probe after the end of the operation.
“I have no doubt that everything necessary will be examined and evaluated so lessons could be learned,” Elkin told Israel Radio. “But it would be have to be done with proper judgment, not under pressure.”
Former IDF deputy chief of staff Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan, who led the push for the Winograd Commission, criticized the appetite for commissions of inquiry after every IDF operation. He said the Second Lebanon War was an exception, because of severe mismanagement by then prime minister Ehud Olmert, defense minister Amir Peretz and IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz.
“It is corrupt that our leaders have to always consider commissions of inquiry in the midst of a military operation and prepare to defend themselves rather than focusing solely on protecting our citizens,” Dayan said.