Netanyahu. To probe or not to probe?
Report: PM yet to form opinion on war probe
Netanyahu says in closed forum that he is still mulling option of appointing commission of inquiry into claims that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza, but tells associates he believes IDF knows how to investigate itself better than any other army in world
The issue of appointing a commission of inquiry into claims that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza has sparked many disputes and discussions. The prime minister himself has issued three different versions for his stance on the matter within 24 hours.
At first Benjamin Netanyahu told the Washington Post that the government was considering a probe into allegations made in the recent Goldstone Report, but his office later issued a statement clarifying that "the prime minister did not intend to say that there is a need for an independent commission of inquiry."
On Saturday night, sources close to Netanyahu said that he has told them in a closed forum, "I haven't decided yet. I have yet to form an opinion."
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The prime minister clarified, however, that he believes there is no need for a commission of inquiry. "The IDF is an army which acts properly, according to ethical standards, and also investigates and checks itself better than any other army in the world."
A final decision on the appointment of an independent commission of inquiry depends, among other things, on international pressure, and the prime minister has yet to decide on the matter.
Netanyahu's different versions are also the result of internal pressures between the stances of ministers who are pulling the rope from both ends. Defense Minister Ehud Barak opposes an independent war probe, and even clarified following Netanyahu's interview with the Washington Post that "there is not an army in the world that investigates itself this way."
Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Dan Meridor, however, is in favor of appointing a commission of inquiry.
Before he makes a final decision, Netanyahu is seeking more time and information, including on the American stance on the matter. He told the Washington Post that the best way to handle the Goldstone Report would be to "speak the truth, because Israel was defending itself with just means against an unjust attack."
As revealed by Ynet last week, most ministers are refraining from voicing their opinion on an independent war probe. Only four ministers have said that they are in favor of appointing a commission of inquiry into Operation Cast Lead: Meridor, Uzi Landau, Michael Eitan and Avishay Braverman. Seven ministers are against an inquiry.