50 days after the State Comptroller's report on Operation Protective Edge, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the National Security Council (NSC) submitted the document detailing how they intend to correct the failings identified by the report by the end of 2017.
In the answers given by Netanyahu in the "Correcting the Deficiencies" document, he explains that many of the flaws have already been corrected in the framework of the conclusions of the Amidror committee, which was established following the demand of Education Minister Naftali Bennett to establish orderly work procedures for the Security Cabinet.
Some of Netanyahu's answers indicate that the person who brought about the dramatic change in the work of the cabinet was no less than State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, was Minister Bennett—who fought for the reform and was not afraid of threatening to break the coalition to promote it.
These are the main deficiencies, and the solutions to them, which appear in the document:
The deficiency: During the operation, members of the cabinet were required to make many decisions regarding military operations without having had a structured discussion of the threats beforehand, and without several action plans being presented to them.
Netanyahu and the NSC's solution: The cabinet meetings will have an orderly structure that will include a detailed presentation by the head of the NSC of the strategy and possible alternatives to a solution, an address by the intelligence agencies and the IDF, a summary by the prime minister and a vote.
The deficiency: The manner in which the operation was conducted revealed that the Defense Ministry did not take the NSC seriously enough, did not give them any information, and more.
Netanyahu and the NSC's solution: In the coming year, NSC staff meetings will be held in conjunction with all its connected bodies (the Mossad, the Shin Bet, the IDF, The Military Intelligence Directorate and the Defense Ministry) with the aim of establishing work relations and providing ongoing updates.
The deficiency: During the cabinet meeting, it was often necessary for ministers to make decisions on operational activities without being presented with a alternatives for dealing with the given problem.
Netanyahu and the NSC's solution: Since the operation, before every cabinet discussion, NSC personnel have been going through the plans the IDF is trying to present to the ministers and making sure they are clear and sharp. In addition, they also require to be provided with a number of alternative solutions for each program.
The deficiency: In the operation, the cabinet ministers came to discussions in which they were required to make decisions on which people's lives depended without having vital information.
Netanyahu and the NSC's solution: An orderly procedure will be established in the framework of which all the relevant information will be sent to the cabinet ministers at the earliest possible date.
The deficiency: Today, the cabinet has no authority to make a decision to embark on military action that could lead to war.
Netanyahu and the NSC's solution: Soon the government will convene and vote on granting such authority to the cabinet.
The deficiency: The prime minister should ensure that cabinet ministers are informed on security matters, and that their knowledge will be expanded by the NSC.
Netanyahu and the NSC's solution: A program was developed to train the ministers on these issues, which will begin operating in the second half of 2017.
MK Karin Elharar (Yesh Atid), chairwoman of the committee on State Comptroller's Operation Protective Edge report, said in response that "the report is not serious. There are many issues that have not been addressed and it seems that mostly general statements were given as solutions, not a work plan for implementation (of said solutions)."
(Translated & edited by Lior Mor)