Israel's Defense Minister Amir Peretz hinted in a talk with Ynet upon his return from the Israel Air Force's pilot training course graduation, that he feels IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Dan Halutz should remain in his post even after the conclusion revealed upon the completion of the investigation inot the second Lebanon war.
On Thursday morning, Ynet reporter Ron Ben-Yishai revealed that the former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Shomron had concluded the central investigation on the second Lebanon war and that it's findings held no personal conclusions against Halutz.
Peretz attended the IAF's pilot training course graduation on Thursday, where he took with him children from various towns along the northern border.
On his way back to Tel Aviv, he talked with a Ynet report and said that Halutz should be given the chance to implement the lessons learned by the war.
"The end of the investigation chapter marks a very important point for the IDF, and the 2007 work plan is being compiled according to it," said Peretz.
Peretz specified the processes which the IDF is undergoing these days and in the future, from refilling emergency stockpiles to planning completely different training programs for regular and reserve soldiers.
Olmert and Peretz at graduation ceremony. (Photo: Tsafrir Abayov)
"All these things constitute a complete work plan," added Peretz, "we must allow the chief of staff and the IDF's major-generals to act in peace and implement these conclusions. The investigation and examinations should be an isolated chapter, and should not be linked."
These statements are in line with the conclusions of Former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Shomron's report, which will be presented to Halutz and the General Staff's forum on Friday.
As reported by Ynet on Wednesday, Shomron's report does not show any personal criticism towards Halutz and there is no recommendation that he should resign from his post.
With that, Halutz may be able to make it through the hurdle of investigations and await the conclusions of the Winograd committee in order to get back to considering his future steps.
The defense minister also commented on the subject of the Qassam rockets being fired into Israel and said that he believes that firm and unequivocal action should be taken against terror organizations.
"We cannot maintain a restraint policy while the terror organizations do whatever they please. We will take firm action against terror organizations and we will harm their foundations."
Peretz also commented on Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's statement that kidnapped soldier Corporal Gilad Shalit's release would come soon.
He said that "we should act non stop in order to bring the soldier back home, and the less we talk about it in the media, the better the chances are of bringing him home. We must let the different paths continue in order to bring the date of Shalit's release closer."