State Comptroller Yosef Shapira voiced his criticism regarding a leak of information from his upcoming report on Operation Protective Edge on Monday. Speaking at an accounting conference in Eilat, Shapira said, “I submitted a draft that was classified as Top Secret, and unfortunately there was a leak. This is regrettable and extremely inappropriate.”
A month ago, it was reported that Shapira's report was expected to severely criticize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as then defense minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.
“The report on Operation Protective Edge is extremely important,” continued Shapira. “I believe the public deserves to know what happened. We need to study and learn from the report, which was why I had set up a special taskforce to prepare it. The report includes several chapters, among them a review of the relationships within the Security Cabinet and their repercussions. Unfortunately, a leak has occurred, despite the fact that it was personally handed over to all the relevant parties, instead of by mail or through a secretary.”
Shapira added that “Another chapter included in the report has to do with international law. I think this is a very important issue, which is why we’re taking stricter percussions with it: instead of putting it out one segment at a time, we are going to publish it as a single document. This is why it’s taking longer.”
According to reports of the leak, the draft claims that Netanyahu and Ya’alon did not update the Security Cabinet on a warning issued in July 2014 by the Israeli Security Agency, on a possible confrontation between the IDF and Hamas. In addition, it states that under Netanyahu’s leadership, the Security Cabinet never discussed the threat of the tunnels coming out of Gaza up until Operation Protective Edge. Gantz is also expected to be taken to task in it, for the military estimates he provided the Security Cabinet.
Sources who have read the draft said that Shapira’s report is even harsher than the one published by the Winograd Committee on the substantial deficits found during the Second Lebanon War. Shapira’s report will supposedly blow the oversights found there out of the water by plainly showing that nothing has changed and that no lessons have been learned.
Those close to Netanyahu have dismissed these rumors by saying that the Shapira’s work will amount to “an unprofessional report by an unprofessional comptroller.” The criticisms raised against Netanyahu have prompted those in his inner circle to claim that “The operation was handled with transparency and successfully, with everything else being nothing but slander.” Furthermore, the sources claimed that the Security Cabinet did, in fact, meet several times with the explicit purpose of discussing the Gazan tunnels.
The reported leak moved bereaved parents to demand that the report be released in full to the general public. “This issue must be brought to light,” said Ilan Sagi, whose son Erez fell during an incident in Gaza two years ago. “Everyone should know how the government conducts itself. It’s important to the families. I hope it comes out without any cover-ups.”