Top Israeli officials accused of leaking Gaza war report
TEL AVIV - Israel's State Comptroller on Friday accused top officials of leaking his secret report on the 2014 Gaza war, which media said points to flaws in the government's handling of the conflict.
Earlier this week State Comptroller Joseph Shapira sent the highly-classified draft report to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon and other government officials.
But local media began reporting on the content of Shapira's draft text and published attacks by anonymous sources described as close to Netanyahu and Yaalon.
This has infuriated Shapira who demanded explanations, his spokesman Shlomo Raz said.
He particularly asked that "the prime minister and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to examine how the draft, classified top secret, was leaked by one of those reviewed," said Raz.
Yediot Aharonot newspaper said the draft finds that during the conflict "the security establishment did not have a comprehensive plan for dealing with Hamas's offensive tunnels".
Maariv newspaper said that among those hit hardest in the draft was former army chief Benny Gantz, "who is exposed as a weak chief of staff who was out of touch with reality".
Netanyahu, it added, "is depicted as having no crisis-management abilities".
The militant Palestinian Islamist group has an extensive network of tunnels inside the Gaza Strip, including some that allegedly reach into Israel and Egypt.
It has used tunnels in the past as firing positions, shelter from Israeli attack, storage of weapons and at times to enter Israel and capture soldiers.
Their destruction of the tunnels was cited by Israel as one of its primary goals during the devastating 2014 war, which left more than 2,251 Palestinians and 73 Israelis dead.
The Israeli army has said it destroyed more than 30 tunnels during the 2014 war.
Fighting flared again on Wednesday when Gaza militants fired mortar rounds at Israeli forces searching along the border and short distance inside Gaza for tunnels.
Israel responded with tank shells and air strikes, killing a Gaza woman in the worst cross-border violence since the 2014 war.
The duelling continued for a third day Friday when Israeli aircraft launched new strikes against Hamas in the Gaza Strip in response to fresh mortar fire.