OC Ground Forces Command Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz said on Friday that errant governmental policy over the past several years made the training of reserve forces a low priority and resulted in the IDF not being properly prepared when fighting broke out with Hizbullah during the summer. "This conclusion has been acted on, and recently the training has been increased and the reserve forces will have to serve more to make up for the shortcomings," Gantz said in an interview with Israel Radio. By blaming governmental policy, Gantz deflected criticism that had been directed towards him recently for the IDF's unsatisfactory performance in the war, most notably in a report submitted to the General Staff the first week in December by OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amiram Levine.
The second Lebanon war: JPost.com special report
According to Levine, as ground forces commander, Gantz was partly responsible for not training and preparing IDF troops adequately before the war.
Gantz added that the nature of the counter terror operations conducted within the Palestinian cities during the past Intifada had also shifted the IDF's tactical training away from 'classic' ground warfare, as seen in battles in southern Lebanon.
Nevertheless, the OC Ground Forces Commander said that Hizbullah's forces were dealt a severe blow during the war and that Iran and Syria were working hard to rehabilitate the organization.
He said future hostilities on the northern border were likely.
"Hizbullah will try to strike against Israel and increase their political power in Lebanon," Gantz said.
Regarding the Palestinian front, Gantz said that Hamas was strengthening and that the IDF was preparing accordingly to deal with the threat it posed.
However, he stressed that the decision to strike against the threat would require authorization on the political level.