Olmert considering state commission of inquiry

Panel to discuss the issue Wednesday evening; Diskin slams government conduct on home front, says "North was abandoned."

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is considering forming a state inquiry commission to probe the handling of the home front during the war in Lebanon, Channel 1 reported Wednesday. According to the report, a special government panel was discussing on Wednesday evening whether to establish an independent state commission of inquiry headed by a judge, or a lower-level state committee that would have less authority. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert asked Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz to come up with a plan for forming a state inquiry commission to investigate the handling of the home front. It was not yet clear whether the commission would act in tandem with the Shahak panel, which began its inquiry into the military's handling of the Lebanon war on Tuesday. Mazuz is expected to submit his proposal to the government in the coming days. Meanwhile, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin on Wednesday joined the growing wave of criticism being aimed at the government for its handling of the home front during the war in Lebanon. "The local government in the North totally collapsed during the war," Diskin said Wednesday at a closed-door Shin Bet meeting. "I think it makes sense for people like me, who are inside the system, to criticize [the way things were handled]," Channel 2 quoted Diskin as saying. "This is not the time to cover things up. The truth should be told. Without a doubt, the North was abandoned, and somebody has to explain and take responsibility."