Gen. (Res.) Hirsch to Testify Monday Before Lebanon War Probe

Sources: Hirsch submits documents to panel in order to counter criticism of his conduct during the war.

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

Brigadier General (res.) Gal Hirsch, who left the Israel Defense Forces following the second Lebanon war, is to testify Monday before the Winograd Committee investigating the war.

Sources close to Hirsch said he submitted documents to the committee that disprove the harsh claims made against him regarding his conduct during the war.

No less than nine brigades fought under Hirsch, former commander of the Galil Division. He is to be asked about steps he did or did not take to prevent the abduction of soldiers Udi Goldwasser and Eldad Regev on the northern border, and about his conduct during the war.

Hirsch left the IDF following the release of the conclusions of the Almog Committee, which found him responsible for the failure that led to the kidnapping.

Following his exit, Hirsch attacked the Almog Committee's conclusions and asked that the General Staff hold another hearing.

Hirsch's main argument to the committee is expected to be that conditions in the North following the IDF's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 made it impossible to prevent a kidnapping unless there was prior knowledge of it. He is also expected to state that such prior knowledge was in the hands of the intelligence branch, but did not reach him or his division.

"If only 10 percent of what they knew had been transmitted, the kidnapping could have been prevented," a friend of Hirsch, attorney Dror Brotfeld, said two months ago.

Another witness on Monday's roster is Major General Ayal Ben-Reuven, commander of the ground forces on the northern front.

On Sunday, the committee heard testimony by the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chair, MK Tzachi Hanegbi, on the functioning of his committee during the war and on testimony it heard from reserve soldiers.

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