Photo: Reuters
Peretz. National responsibility
Photo: Reuters

Army undergoing revolution, Peretz says

Defense minister stands by decision to go to war, urges government to increase army's budget in order to allow for implementation of necessary changes. Peretz says has not decided yet whether to resign or not

"The decision to go to war was the right one," Defense Minister Amir Peretz insisted Wednesday, in a first response to the conclusions of the Winograd Commission, which found that he was one of those personally responsible for the war's failures.


During a special cabinet meeting dedicated to the report, Peretz admitted that he has not decided yet whether to resign his post or not.

Amir Peretz in cabinet meeting Wednesday (Photo: AP)


Peretz said that the government should examine itself and work to strengthen the army following the war.


"The public expects its leaders to act reasonably and responsibly," he added, and said that he was certain that the government acted with a sense of national responsibility during the war.


According to Peretz, the Winograd report included substantial criticism against the policies implemented by previous governments.


Revolution in the army  

The defense minister called for the implementation of the recommendation to strengthen the supervision system within the IDF, as well as the National Security Council, and said that he was working to establish a team of retired generals who will advise the defense minister.


Responding to accusations that he failed to ask questions in discussions during wartime, Peretz said, "More than once I demanded that the different opinions of the general staff be presented to us."


"I have complete faith in the new army chief," Peretz stressed, "There is a feeling of revolution in the army. The government could take credit for this if it decides to allocate budgets and enable a new training program."


Many of Peretz's associates believe that he should resign immediately, before Thursday's march against the government leaders takes place.


Meanwhile, the cabinet has unanimously approved the prime minister's recommendation to adopt the report's conclusions and implement them in its meeting Wednesday.


Two committees will be set up for this purpose. The first, a professional steering committee, which will be headed by former army chief Amnon Lipkin-Shahak and include government, IDF and Foreign Minister officials. The other, a ministerial committee which will be headed by Olmert and include Ministers Avi Dichter and Rafi Eitan.


Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 05.02.07, 15:10
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