PM Ehud Olmert (archive photo)
Photo: Haim Zach
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Winograd Commission that he decided to launch a military operation in case of a kidnapping incident along the Lebanese border as early as March, 2006, four months prior to the beginning of the war in Lebanon.
The defense minister at the time was Shaul Mofaz.
According to Olmert, whose testimony was published by Ha’aretz on Thursday, the first assessment meeting regarding the situation in Lebanon during his tenure was held on January 8, 2006, just four days after he took over for the comatose Ariel Sharon.
Additional consultations were held in March, April, May and after the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in June.
According to the Ha’aretz report, during the assessment meeting in March, Olmert asked senior IDF officers whether the army had operational plans in case of a kidnapping and received a positive response.
When asked by the officers why he wanted to see the plans, Olmert said he did not want to wait until an actual kidnapping occurred to make a decision.
The prime minister eventually chose one of the relatively ‘retrained’ plans presented to him, which included an aerial attack alongside a limited ground operation.
The Winograd Commission, which is investigating the war’s failures, is expected to present a preliminary report sometime this month.
The Prime Minister’s Office refused to comment on the report.