'PM ordered IDF on alert for Iran strike in 2010'

Channel 2 reports move was met with virulent objections from both IDF, Mossad chiefs, who called the move "illegal."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
November 4, 2012 21:35
1 minute read.
Gabi Ashkenazi with Binyamin Netanyahu

Gabi Ashkenazi with Binyamin Netanyahu 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/POOL New)

 
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the IDF to raise its alert level ahead of a possible attack on Iranian nuclear facilities in 2010, a move which drew virulent objections from both the IDF and Mossad chiefs, according to a Channel 2 investigative report previewed on Sunday evening.

During a meeting of select senior ministers in 2010, Netanyahu allegedly ordered the IDF to raise its state of alert to “P-plus,” reserved for an imminent state of war, according to the report.

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Then-IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi and then-Mossad chief Meir Dagan considered the order “illegal” and resisted it.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

“This is not something you do unless you’re certain you want to see it through,” Channel 2 quoted Ashkenazi as saying.

The report cited “sources close to Ashkenazi” as explaining that such a move would create “facts on the ground” that invariably would lead to war.

Citing a number of people present at the meeting, Dagan stated unequivocally that such a move would be “illegal,” adding that it would require cabinet approval.



The report quoted him as saying after the meeting that “the prime minister and defense minister are simply trying to steal a war.”

In an interview broadcast Thursday on Channel 2, Barak accused Ashkenazi of not having adequately prepared the military for such a scenario, revealing a serious rift between Israel’s political and military echelons.

Barak also denied the claim made by both Ashkenazi and Dagan that the command would necessarily have led Israel to war with Iran.

“A chief of staff must create the operational capacity. He must provide his professional recommendation on whether or not to enact a given order, and we must even take this opinion into account. But we can also proceed in opposition to his recommendation,” Barak said.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report

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