Powered by WebAds

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The IDF finally admits it could have prevented Gilad Shalit's kidnapping

On June 25, it will be one year since Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and taken into the Gaza Strip. Israel Radio reports today that the IDF believes that Hamas regards Shalit as an 'asset' who will eventually bring them hundreds of released prisoners terrorists, and that because of that he will not be harmed. Let's all pray they are right. In the meantime, Israel Radio reports that efforts to free Shalit continue but the negotiations are less serious than in the past.

Army Radio reports today that the IDF could have prevented the kidnapping:
On June 24, the report said, special security forces executed an operation designed to collect intelligence from inside the Gaza Strip. The forces kidnapped two Hamas members, Mustafa and Osama Muamar, and brought them to Israel for interrogation.

The information extracted from the two formed the basis for the specific high alert that terrorists would try to infiltrate Israel through tunnels in order to kidnap soldiers stationed near Gaza.

According to the report, the IDF responded by augmenting forces already in place with tanks, armor, and observation posts.

Nevertheless, terror operatives burst into Israel through tunnels, as intelligence had predicted, and instigated a firefight with IDF troops, during which Schalit was taken captive and two other soldiers killed.
From defenseless 'defense minister' Amir Comrade Peretz's reaction, it's clear that he prevented the IDF from releasing this information until his (imminent) resignation as 'defense minister.' For that behavior, Peretz should never again be allowed to be a minister in an Israeli government:
Defense Minister Amir Peretz responded to the report by saying, "the kidnapping had prompted a thorough investigation and a change in [the way] forces are deployed."
In other words, yes, it's true. But then, I told you all that two days after the kidnapping took place and I called for Peretz's resignation then:
At the Israeli ministry of defense, the buck stops with Defense Minister Comrade Peretz. When Peretz, whose highest rank in the army was Captain, was appointed Defense Minister there were fears that he would not be able to handle the position. There was talk about adding another Labor party MK who had been a general (Ephraim Sneh or Fuad Ben Eliezer) as his 'assistant' to actually run the Defense Ministry. But politics won out and no 'assistant' was appointed. And because Ehud Olmert wanted Labor in the cabinet and could not give Peretz the Finance Ministry (which Peretz really wanted, but which would have destroyed the economy), Peretz became defense minister. Regardless, that means the defense buck stops with Peretz. And if what the media are reporting is true, it is time for Peretz to resign.

Both HaAretz and the JPost are reporting that Ro'i Amitai, a solider who was wounded in the Kerem Shalom attack on Sunday, revealed today that troops had received a specific warning on Saturday about a tunnel that Palestinians had dug in the area and of plans to attack soldiers. The warning was ignored.

Amitai's statement appears to strengthen a similar claim made by the Shin Bet (General Security Service) that a specific warning had been passed on to the IDF. The IDF claimed that there was only a general warning of an attack in the area.

DF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee today that there was a warning over the past 10 days on the general location between Sufa and the Kerem Shalom crossings, but no specific warnings. [CiJ in 2007 - This was apparently a lie and if so, Kaplinsky should be tossed out of the IDF. CiJ]

As a result of the warning, both crossings were closed down.

Senior Shin Bet sources confirmed late Sunday that they had passed specific intelligence regarding the attack to relevant officials inside the IDF.

The information had included the precise location of the attack and the fact that a tunnel would be involved, but did not specify a time frame.

Defense Minister Comrade Amir Peretz, however, told reporters that the IDF had only received a general warning. [This was a lie. CiJ]

He said that the IDF had received a warning about a large-scale terror attack that was the background to a number of IDF operations over the last two weeks, including the targeted killing of Popular Resistance Committees leader Jamal Abu Samhadana (who planned Sunday's attack) and the recent incursion into the Gaza Strip on Saturday in which two Palestinian terrorists were arrested.

But IDF soldier Ro'i Amitai, the sole surviving member of the tank crew hit in the attack, said that his unit had received an intelligence warning just a day earlier, indicating Palestinians were digging a tunnel in order to carry out an attack.

The former head of the Knesset committee, MK Yuval Steinitz, said, "one of the failures was that the Shin Bet intelligence was not taken seriously."

MK Avshalom Vilan (Meretz) pointed out that Amitai had said that the soldiers had received a specific warning, and that there apparently had been a failure. "I can't understand why the heads of the [defense] establishment are trying to gloss over it," he said. Vilan was referring to both Peretz and IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, both of whom claimed that the IDF had prepared adequately for the attack. I understand why they are trying to gloss over it: they would like to keep their jobs.

Amitai, the tank driver who was apparently hit in the first RPG attack on the tank, was moderately wounded and hospitalized at Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva.

I hope that Steinitz and Vilan - who are from opposite ends of the political spectrum - will pick the ball up and run with it.


Post a Comment

<< Home