Netanyahu: Security felt by Israeli citizens proof of successful cabinet policy
Following state comptroller report on Gaza flotilla raid, Barak says 'accepts' criticisms paper lists, will act to mend issues; opposition leader: Report exposes smug PM.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to a state comptroller report accusing him for holding superficial discussions prior to the IDF raid of a Gaza flotilla in 2012, saying on Wednesday that the security enjoyed by Israeli citizens was proof of the success of his government's security policies.
Micha Lindenstrauss's highly critical report, released on earlier Wednesday, stretched over 153 pages and dealt with both the government's performance in the Turkish flotilla incident and with the application of the National Security Council Law, as well as, Israel's national propaganda apparatus.
In response to the report, the Prime Minister's Office released a statement later Wednesday, saying that reality on the ground indicated that "Israeli citizens have been enjoying a security the likes of which has not been seen in many years."
"The security that Israeli citizens enjoy is a direct result of responsible management and a determined policy," the statement said, adding that the "security deliberations that have taken place in the last three years are unprecedented in their breadth and depth, something which could be testified by those who participated in them."
Earlier in the day, a statement by the office of Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that Barak "accepts the criticism, and will act, as in the past, ensure that the defense establishment and the IDF amend all that requires mending."
"That's what should be done, and what will be done," the statement added.
In another response to report, the IDF Spokesman's Office said that the army was "committed to a full cooperation with the report's authors, and to meticulously study its findings."
"It should be noted that immediately following the flotilla, and without waiting any other body, the IDF was worked extensively to an investigation encompassing all aspects, out of a real desire to learn the lessons and quickly implement them," the IDF said.
The IDF also cited the Turkel Commission, saying the panel had already ruled that the IDF's operation was "justified according to international humanitarian law, and that the vessels' seizure was legal."
Also responding to the report's release, Opposition Leader Shelly Yacimovich called the document "a grave report, which exposes a smug prime minister, who takes decisions alone and with Defense Minister Barak, in process lacking responsibility and filled with excess confidence."
"Not only didn't Netanyahu's and Barak's extensive experience aid them, but it probably led them to believe that they can lead the country by themselves, as a couple and in private, without sufficient knowledge and without looking tin alternatives," Yacimovich added.
The Labor chairwoman also said that it was "a shame that the price of complacency and arrogance was paid by the navy commandos, who, counter to their leaders, acted bravely, resourcefully, and with mutual responsibility for one another."
Balad MK and flotilla participant Hanin Zuabi also issued a response to Lindenstrauss's report, severely criticizing the report for "cooperating with the Israel security establishment's attempts to cover up facts, instead of investigating the essence of the pirate operation, the murder of activists and the attack on a civilian ship."
"I hoped the comptroller would examine flotilla events, both those perpetrated by the Israeli army, and those documented in footage take by [the IDF]," Zuabi said, adding that, instead, Lindenstrauss chose to center on decision making processes in the Israeli government.