MKs criticize PM's statement that second Lebanon war was planned months in advance, a claim Nasrallah made repeatedly during war. 'If he isn't lying - it's a thousand times worse,' says MK Eldad
Amnon Meranda YNET Published: 03.08.07, 19:27 / Israel News
"It seems that the prime minister and Nasrallah are getting their stories straight," an outraged MK Effie Eitam told Ynet Thursday on Olmert's statement that the second Lebanon war was planned beforehand.
All throughout the war and afterwards, Hizbullah's leader Hassan Nasrallah defended himself from public criticism by claiming that Israel had already been planning the war and that it "jumped at the chance" to strike.
According to Haaretz, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Winograd Commission that a military operation in case of a kidnapping incident along the Lebanese border was planned as early as March, 2006, four months prior to war.
Several MKs criticized Olmert's statement, which they said backs up Nasrallah's repeated claims, and could jeopardize Israel's credibility.
"Assuming that Olmert isn't lying, this statement makes things a thousand times worse. If he approved this plan without making sure that the Home Front was ready and that the IDF was capable of carrying it out - he should be tried for criminal negligence," said MK Arieh Eldad (National Union-National Religious Party).
MK Effie Eitam said, "In an attempt to shake off responsibility for the poor managing of the war, the prime minister is also trying to rewrite history. We remember the time before the war. we heard of the cuts in the defense budget, we heard that there were no more existential threats to Israel.
"Saying that the IDF was prepared for a war in the north and that the prime minister even planned to start a war in the north is untrue. This war was a serious managerial failure for the military's senior echelon, who already took responsibility."
MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said, "A country preparing for a war certainly would not be cutting defense budgets, significantly minimizing field-training and reserve recruits. Olmert's testimony that the war was planned was meant only to stop the many attacks and criticism against him and has no real basis."
MK Gideon Sa'ar, chairman of the Likud faction told Ynet, "As usual, Olmert is trying to put responsibility on someone else, and this time, on the IDF. The prime minister bears the highest responsibility for the war's failures. any attempts to escape responsibility are doomed to failure."
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