Elkin: Gaza war to be probed, but after fighting ends

Heavy criticism has been directed against the IDF being unprepared for the scope of the Hamas tunnel threat, and for using outdated equipment.

August 3, 2014 12:49
1 minute read.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin.

Ze'ev Elkin 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee will ask the “tough questions” that arose during Operation Protective Edge, once it ends, committee chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) said Sunday.

“The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is the exact place that must impartially investigate everyone who was [in committee meetings],” such as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and senior IDF officers, Elkin said.

As to whether the investigation would focus on terror tunnels from Gaza and why the government did not try to preemptively destroy them, Elkin told Army Radio “that is just one component, and it may not even be the biggest one.”

The Likud MK said he has many questions and doubts, but that this is not the time to express them publicly, while the fighting is still ongoing.

“Whoever thinks [the operation] is over should ask [Hamas leader] Khaled Mashaal,” he added.

Last week, no MKs endorsed calls for a commission of inquiry on Operation Protective Edge, with even those on the far left saying it is too early for such declarations.

The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee met with Southern Command officers and mayors from towns in the South too on Sunday before visiting injured soldiers at Soroka Medical Center.

Heavy criticism has been directed against the political and security establishments regarding the IDF being unprepared for the scope of the Hamas tunnel threat.

There was also a public outcry when seven Golani soldiers were killed on July 19 by an anti-tank missile while they were using an aging model of an armored personnel carrier (APC)

The APC in question is the M113, which was first developed by the United States in the 1960s and saw service in Vietnam. It has also been used in Israel for decades and is known for being old and highly vulnerable.

In army lingo, the APC is dubbed a 'chipser' - one hit and you're fried. It was a mainstay of the army for decades but the rising use of RPGs by Palestinian militants in the 70s and 80s and later the use of anti-tank missiles made it obsolete. 

Gil Hoffman, Ben Hartman and Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.

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