Knesset report raps army over Lebanon

Israel’s armed forces were faulted by a parliamentary panel for their conduct during the Second Lebanon War.

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee released a long-awaited report Monday which focused on the failings of the military during the 2006 summer offensive against Hezbollah.

The panel commended the air force for destroying many of the Iranian-backed militia’s medium-range rockets but said ground troops were too slow to go in against short-range rockets and mortars. Tanks were deployed against the guerrillas with faulty tactics and reservists were poorly trained and equipped, the report found.

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee drew fire for not criticizing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other senior government figures, whom may Israelis blame for the muddled planning of the war.

An Israeli commission of inquiry is expected to hand in its second and final report on the war next month, potentially with a recommendation that Olmert “draw personal conclusions” – a code for resignation.

Olmert has defended his handling of the conflict and has vowed to see out his term in office.

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