Knesset Quashes Bid to Set Up Inquiry Commission for Gaza War

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Israeli soldiers in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, 2014
Israeli soldiers in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, 2014Credit: The IDF spokesman / Shai Wagner

The Knesset plenum quashed a move on Wednesday to set up a parliamentary inquiry commission to probe the government and security establishment's performance during the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict.

The motion, submitted by the opposition, was struck down by 34 lawmakers and supported by 22. Communications Minister Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) mocked the opposition and said that thanks to the deterrence the Israel Defense Forces achieved during the conflict, many families are now moving to the communities adjacent to the Gaza border.

Lawmaker Michal Rozin (Meretz), who sponsored the motion, said in the plenum that "while we're all talking about the previous war I want to talk about the next one. The Israeli government accepts the next war as a fait accompli ... The politicians are busy jabbing each other and looking for culprits in the army. The comptroller's report exposes a series of failures, for which the security cabinet and cabinet, headed by the prime minister, are accountable."

Hanegbi, responding on behalf of the government, said: "It's not easy for the opposition to see families thronging to the communities adjacent to the Gaza border. This war obtained unequivocal deterrence, a direct result of the IDF combatants' courage."

"A diplomatic solution with Hamas is a pipe dream. Hamas hasn't changed its world view, but has changed its modus operandi," Hanegbi said. "Hamas' central goal in this war wasn't the tunnels or drones or frogmen but investing a fortune in a rocket system, which was supposed to paralyze Israel. This failed against the Iron Dome system," Hanegbi added. "We should all be proud that thanks to the IDF we had two and a half years of quiet and I believe it will continue for many years."

The National Union caucus has collected 40 opposition members' signatures to compel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to appear before the plenum within three weeks' time and take part in a prolonged discussion about the war's failures, which the comptroller's report has exposed. 

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