Halutz gives 7-hr. testimony to Winograd

Outgoing IDF head questioned on use of ground forces, relations with PM, Peretz.

Outgoing IDF chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz appeared before the Winograd Committee for seven hours on Sunday and was asked to describe military operational developments from the start of the second Lebanon war on July 12, 2006, until the end of the fighting a month later, a committee spokesman said. During the testimony, Halutz was asked about his relations with Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, as well as whether, as an air force man, he was properly trained to command ground forces. He was also asked about his ideas regarding how to use the forces at hand, given his belief in the predominant role of the air force in achieving fighting aims. The committee asked Halutz about the operational plans he had presented to the prime minister and defense minister on July 12 and why he had decided not to use ground forces in south Lebanon except in limited operations. He was also asked about what his proposed solution had been to the firing of Katyusha rockets at Israel and why it had not worked. The committee also asked why the reserves had not been called up earlier to prepare for a possible ground attack, and inquired about the military operations of the Northern Command and its divisions during the fighting, particularly in the last days - after the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1701 - as well as the army's relations with the media and its protection of classified information.