'Times': PM to be blamed for war's final hours

'Sunday Times': Winograd report to conclude that 33 IDF deaths in last 60 hours were PM's fault.

olmert 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
olmert 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
In the Winograd Committee's final report, expected to be published by the end of the year, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be blamed for the final 60 hours of the Second Lebanon War, during which 33 IDF soldiers lost their lives, the Sunday Times reported. Quoting a source familiar with the details of the Winograd proceedings, the report claimed that the prime minister was responsible for the decision to continue fighting, despite the fact that the United Nations had already started to work on a draft for a cease-fire. "Olmert knew about the cease-fire agreement, but nevertheless instructed the army to conduct an impossible mission in order to end the failed war on a positive note," the source told the paper. The source went on to predict that the Winograd Committee's final conclusions would create a political storm once published. Two weeks ago, the committee declared explicitly for the first time that its final report would not include recommendations, conclusions or facts that could cause injury to any specific individuals involved in the subject of its examination. The panel was established to examine the preparedness of the government and the army for war against Hizbullah since Israel withdrew to the international border with Lebanon seven years ago, and their conduct in the Second Lebanon War, which began on July 12, 2006. "Following in-depth investigations and discussions among the members of the Winograd Committee, its members reached the conclusion that given the broad subject we were asked to investigate, and given the facts that we learned, the most worthy way for the committee to act is not to include personal matters [including facts, conclusions or recommendations regarding individuals] in the final report," the panel said.