Photo: Ofer Amram
Halutz. 'Reality in Lebanon will change'
Photo: Ofer Amram

Halutz: Within 10 days we won't be in Lebanon

Army chief sets designated time for withdrawal of very last IDF soldier from fighting zone; reserve soldiers to receive special form in which they can express any criticism, on any subject that came up during fighting

Twenty-four hours after the ceasefire came into effect, the Israel Defense Forces began thinking about the investigations, lesson that must be learned, and shortcomings that must be examined following the recent month.


"From an analysis of all the findings and measurements, I believe that the reality in southern Lebanon will change and we will see a different
Hizbullah organization in Lebanon," IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said Tuesday. "Even today we can read and hear many in Lebanon who understand what Hizbullah caused there."


Talking to reporters at his office in Tel Aviv, the chief of staff responded to the issue of the presence of IDF troops in southern Lebanon and said that "if all stays calm and the agreement stemming from the resolution takes effect as planned, all IDF troops will withdraw from Lebanese soil within seven to 10 days."


He added that UNIFIL forces will take charge and gradually give control also to Lebanese army forces, which will apparently deploy north of the Litani River on Wednesday and wait for the order to advance south.


In the last few days many had voiced their opinion to establish an investigating committee following the war, but the chief of staff clarified that The IDF has no standpoint on the subject it would do anything it might be asked to do concerning the matter.


However, a senior military official said he believed that no failure was done which calls for an investigation committee to be assembled and that an overall military inquiry of all the aspects is no less significant.


Halutz added that he would appoint senior officers, who are not directly involved in the events in the north, to coordinate all the issues that need to be probed.


Estimation: War cost over USD 2 billion


Among the issues that will be examined during the inquiries, the senior officer said, will be the timing of the ground forces entering southern Lebanon. He added that preceding the IDF's decision to launch a complicated operation, preparations for ground activities took action.


The chief of staff also referred to the reserve soldiers who took a major part in the war. He expressed his deep appreciation for their functioning and said that during their release they will be offered an opportunity to express their opinions formally regarding different issues (by means of forms passed out to the reserve soldiers) so that future lessons may be learned.


In the meantime, the DF has begun analyzing how much the war has cost, and the first estimate is that the immediate expenses reached over USD 2 billion. Nonetheless, there are additional expenses that will be added to this amount when all costs will be concluded during the coming days.


As the fighting in the north ceases and the implication of the agreement as set by the UN starts taking place, Deputy Chief of Staff Major-General Moshe Kaplinsky reaches the end of his duties as the army chief's representative in the Northern Command.


Major-General Kaplinsky will take up his original duties and the northern zone will be left in the hands of Northern Command Chief Major-General Udi Adam.


פרסום ראשון: 08.15.06, 17:11
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