Wednesday, January 17

BREAKING NEWS: IDF Chief of Staff resigns (UPDATED)

IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz has resigned, according to Israel Army Radio (00:30 IST).

Halutz, in a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said, in brief, that he had fulfilled his duties and that it was time to step down. Halutz praised the political echelon.

In an earlier telephone conversation between the two, Olmert tried to convince Halutz to remain in his position, to no avail according to the report.

Both Halutz and the government came in for severe criticism over their handling of the war against Hizbullah in Lebanon in the summer of 2006, as reported by the investigating Winograd Commission.

Haaretz: Olmert expresses regret.
Hinting at the mistakes of the political echelon during the war in Lebanon in the summer, OC IDF Ground Forces Command Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz said Tuesday that the length of the war - fighting inside Lebanon lasted 33 days - was a factor in the feeling of disappointment in Israel and Hizbullah's sense of victory.

Speaking at a Tel Aviv University conference, Gantz said the war went on for too long and that its length was one of the reasons that Israel did not emerge with a clear victory. Read more.


Tuesday morning, former IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen (res.) Dan Shomron, who reviewed Halutz's performance during the recent war, criticized him harshly for his flawed management of the conflict.

Tuesday afternoon, he presented the Knesset's Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee with his conclusions, declaring that this summer's war "was run without any goal."


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