The Israel Police received an unexpected leg up Wednesday from the Comptroller's Report on the Home Front during the Second Lebanon War, which offered words of compliment to the role that the Israel Police held during the war. "In general," the report said", "the police performed well during the war."
In the conclusion to the chapter concerning the Israel Police, the State Comptroller also offered a positive note, saying that "the police demonstrated high motivation during the war, and acted with the intent of delivering the optimal response to the public - and stood up to its mission."
Police expressed satisfaction with the comptroller's findings, adding that "from the beginning of the war, the police was already planning for the possibility that the threat would be extended to the center of the country
and the Tel Aviv region."
Immediately following, however, the State Comptroller qualified the rare compliment, adding "But in the course of the war, it carried out complex roles that were not citing its fields of responsibility."
The report opened its discussion of the role of police and the Internal Security Ministry during wartime by emphasizing the fact that in such situations, it is the Home Front Command and not the police or the ministry that are supposed to take the reins.
It noted, however, that in reality, the police - with the agreement of the Home Front Command - maintained their control over responsibility for the home front during the 34 days of conflict.
The ability to maintain control of the home front, the report found, was due to the limited nature of the impact on civilians. Had the war been more widespread or more severe, it implied, the thrown-together power-sharing agreement between Northern District police chief Dan Ronen and OC Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Yitzhak Gershon, would have been less successful.
The report blasted that power-sharing agreement, claiming that it was carried out without the okay of either Ronen or Gershon's commanders, and that the subordination of Home Front Command to police was, at certain points, without any legal basis.
It also cited the fact that police procedures had not been updated to take into consideration improved weaponry in the hands of Hizbullah, and that such intelligence information was not passed between the police and the IDF in an organized manner.