Israel’s Chief Staff of Terrorism resigns over Lebanon failure

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The inevitable has happened and Israel’s Chief Army Staff [of Terrorism] Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz has resigned amidst calls due to the failure in Lebanon (see also here and here). Looks like the claims that Israel “won” the war in Lebanon is totally mistaken. It is Hizbullah’s victory, no doubt about it. Which is such an irony since this man was the one who said that he will “turn the clock back in Lebanon by 20 years”. Which he actually did, but at a price to his job.

Israeli army chief quits over Lebanon
By Harvey Morris in Jerusalem and agencies
Published: January 17 2007 02:00 | Last updated: January 17 2007 02:00

The chief of Israel’s armed forces has resigned over the conduct of last year’s Lebanon war, generating further pressure on the political leadership that oversaw the conflict.

The departure of Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz, 58, late on Tuesday, followed an internal inquiry pointed to his responsibility in a conflict in which Israel failed to fulfil its initial war aim of liquidating the Hizbollah movement.

Politicians from across the spectrum immediately seized on his resignation to demand that Ehud Olmert, prime minister, and Amir Peretz, defence minister, also quit.

Gideon Saar, chairman of the oppsoition Kilud party, said: “It doesn’t make sense for the chief of staff to carry all the blame, while his supervisors at the political level – those responsible for the failures of the war – escape the responsibility and continue in their positions.”

A military spokeswoman said Gen. Halutz, 58, announced he was quitting “as the investigations have run their course”.

“With the echoes of battle having faded, I have decided to act on my responsibility,” the spokeswoman quoted Gen Halutz as saying in his resignation letter.

The July-August assault on Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas drove them from Israel’s northern border but failed to retrieve two captive soldiers, prompting many Israelis to call for a purge of the top brass in hope of restoring a military edge.

A retired Israeli general, Dan Shomron, recently handed in the findings of a probe he conducted into the war’s execution.

Gen Halutz tendered his resignation hours after the state prosecutor ordered a criminal investigation into Mr Olmert’s role in the 2005 privatisation of Bank Leumi.

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