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Cabinet Ministers Studying Report by Agranat Committee

The full 1500-page final report of the Agranat Committee on the Yom Kippur War was under intensive study by Cabinet Ministers who were given individual access to it today under security guard, at the Prime Minister’s Office. The report was submitted to Premier Yitzhak Rabin Thursday. Only 42 pages have been made public.

The Cabinet is expected to devote one or more special sessions to the report once all Ministers have digested its contents and determined their views on it. As far as can be guessed from the tiny segment released for publication, the final Agranat report deals almost entirely with the military conduct of the war during the first three days following the surprise attacks by Egypt and Syria on Oct, 6, 1978. The question of responsibility on the ministerial level was apparently left unaddressed. The Agranat panel was unable to find any law, regulation or other instructions covering ministerial responsibility.

But the Cabinet will have to deal with various recommendations contained in the committee’s interim report, published last April, which propose means of streamlining the government’s decision making processes in the interests of greater efficiency, especially in national emergencies. These recommendations are under study by a special ministerial committee headed by Justice Minister Haim Zadok.

The final report apparently made no reference to former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. The interim report absolved him of any responsibility for Israel’s preparedness shortcomings on the eve of the war. But he, nevertheless, bore the brunt of public criticism and resigned from the government. Dayan was reported to be “relieved” by the committee’s final report. Some sources believe it may have opened the way for him to resume his political career.

DEALT TOO HARSHLY WITH GONEN

The public portions of the final report devoted considerable space to alleged inadequacies of Gen. Shmuel Gonen who commanded Israeli forces in Sinai when the Egyptian attacked. Today, many Israelis, including Gen, Ariel Sharon, who had disputed some of Gonen’s orders during the battle, indicated that the Agranat report dealt too harshly with the former-commander. Gonen himself has reportedly decided to remain in the army although the Agranat report recommends that he be barred from any post higher than a divisional command.

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