Israeli State Comptroller to PM: Focus on Answering Gaza War Report Instead of Criticizing It

Associates close to Netanyahu and Ya'alon called draft review of Operation Protective Edge 'an unserious report that reeks of politicking.'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu / State Comptroller Joseph Shapira
Knesset / Emil Salman

State Comptroller Joseph Shapira responded to attacks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon regarding the draft report he published this week on the 2014 Gaza war.

Responding to claims by associates close to Netanyahu and Ya'alon that "it's an unserious report that reeks of politicking," Shapira called on the prime minister, the defense minister and others reviewed in the report "to focus on their draft report and give their response to it."

Shapira distributed the report on the fighting in Gaza on Tuesday to Netanyahu and the ministers who were members of the security cabinet in the summer of 2014.

Responding to the report, a close Netanyahu associate said it “reeks of politicking by a state comptroller who published two special and biased reports on the eve of the last elections,” referring to reports on spending at the Prime Minister’s Residence and the housing crisis.

The comptroller, the sources close to Netanyahu said, was “supported by former security cabinet members who are today in the opposition and seek to attack the government,” a reference to lawmakers Avigdor Lieberman, Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid.

The former judge emphasized in the statement he issued that the review procedures surrounding the draft report on Operation Protective Edge were carried out according to strict standards and were based on  proven facts and evidence.

Shapira called on the prime minister and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit to check how the draft – which was classified as top secret – was leaked by one of those reviewed.

Opposition leader and Zionist Union chairman Isaac Herzog took to Twitter to respond to the report.

"Then, just like today, the 'talking cabinet' dealt with slogans against Hamas instead of with stopping and striking the heads of Hamas. It turns out that not everyone who shouts is actually scary. Instead of triumphing over the comptroller, who is a very serious man, they should deal with beating Hamas."

Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman, who was foreign minister during the Gaza war, also criticized the responses to the report.

"The prime minister's response to the report shows above all that Israel's current leadership, headed by Netanyahu and Ya'alon, is a leadership that shirks away from responsibility, is unable to make the necessary decisions and is incapable of guaranteeing the safety of Israel's citizens," he said.

"What's just as bad is that like before Protective Edge, Israel today is also only responding to Hamas' actions and threats and doesn’t take any real initiative to fundamentally change the situation and to remove the continuing and growing threat from Gaza."