After weeks of rumors Dan Halutz has decided to quit his position of Chief of Staff, and this just a few weeks after announcing that he was going to stay. Halutz was under severe criticism for the way he conducted this summer’s war in Lebanon. During the war he was rebuked for relying too much on airpower (he rose up from the Air Force ranks) and just today he was criticized in a report presented to the Knesset by IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen (res.) Dan Shomron, who blasted Halutz saying the war “was run without any goal.” The Ynet report follows.
Hanan Greenberg YNET News
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed deep sorrow over the decision. Olmert, who knew beforehand that Halutz was going to resign, asked him to reconsider, but according to the PM’s Office, Halutz’s decision was decisive and as such, Olmert has no choice but to accept it.
Despite vast pressure exerted on Halutz recently, pursuant to the second Lebanon war, the general originally seemed poised for the opposite action.
In a press conference presenting the post-war investigation findings, Halutz said “I haven’t heard calls from my superiors for me to leave. When they tell me to, I’ll respond.”
Halutz addressed the imminent report by the Winograd commission, expected in February, and stated that if the commission took a different stance, he would comply “as it required.”
“I chose to take responsibility,” said Halutz. “There are those who interpret responsibility as running away. I chose to deal with the investigation and a nation demanding a solution. That is responsibility.”
Only 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.”
According to Shomron, “The prime minister instructed the army to halt the rocket fire on Israel , but the army failed to translate it into a military objective.” Shomron stressed that Halutz could help the IDF recover.
During his presentation to the committee, Shomron revealed a detail which could testify to Halutz ‘s fear of leaks, even among the General Staff members.
According to Shomron, the army chief prevented the distribution of the report that he had prepared. After Shomron handed out the report findings to the General Staff members, Halutz asked to collect the copies at the end of the meeting, something that was not done in previous inquiries conducted by the army.
Army sources said that the reason for this action was that “the report was a preliminary, not a final draft.”