Peretz faults former defense minister for cutting training and reserve service.
By DAN IZENBERG, JPOSTLEO GIOSUÈCOM STAFF
"I have nothing to hide," said Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz Wednesday in reaction to claims made against him for his part in the shortcomings of the war in Lebanon.
Mofaz was relating to a remark made earlier by Defense Minister Amir Peretz that Mofaz himself should testify before a state commission of inquiry which the transportation minister so strongly supported.
"I will call up all the minutes of meetings from the periods when I served as defense minister and chief of general staff to prove my innocence," continued Mofaz.
Peretz said the IDF's problems dated to past administrations. Without naming him, he faulted his predecessor Mofaz, for cutting training and yearly service for reserve units, pledging to change the law.
"I don't think one has to be an expert to reach the conclusion that the substantial failures in training and deployment, the fact that there are reserve units that had no training for several years, these are things about which one can go and find out who was responsible," he said.
Peretz said the errors were made as the result of faulty assessment of Israel's strategic situation, playing down threats from Lebanon and the Palestinians.
"The general atmosphere in the country was like that, but whoever made the decision was acting with the feeling that the risk management of Israel made possible the reduction of reserves doing active duty and training," he said, referring to Mofaz.
Peretz said he had nothing to fear from a formal inquiry, lashing out at his critics at the same time. "I don't think the results of any inquiry could hurt me more than the public campaign against me," he said.
On a visit to the tent encampment set up by members of the Movement for Quality Government who were demonstrating their demand for a state commission of inquiry into the war, the transportation minister reiterated his call to establish a state commission of inquiry.
"A state commission of inquiry is needed to restore the public faith in the leaders' authority," Mofaz told hunger strikers at the encampment.
Meanwhile, the Movement for Quality Government petitioned the High Court of Justice against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's intention to appoint Nahum Admoni to the government investigation committee due to be established next week.
The watchdog organization charged that Admoni was involved in a conflict of interests because Olmert had appointed his wife to three senior pubic positions in the recent past. It based its allegation on a report aired by Army Radio regarding the appointments.
The Movement for Quality Government charged that Admoni owed a debt of gratitude to Olmert for his wife's appointments and said it was only human that Admoni would feel obligated to the Prime Minister, whose activities he would have to investigate as a member of the committee.
AP contributed to this report
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