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Last Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
Israel commission report: Key excerpts
The commission investigating Israel's war with Lebanon in the summer of 2006 has issued a damning verdict on the Israeli government's handling of the crisis.

While blaming the government as a whole, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is singled out for hasty decision-making, over-ambitious and unrealistic military goals and a lack of understanding of both Lebanon's situation and the state of Israel's army.

Here are excerpts of key sections of the report:

We start with the decision of the government on the fateful evening of the 12 July 2006 to authorise a sharp military response, and end with the speech of the prime minister in the Knesset on 17 July, when he officially presented the campaign and its goals.

There are very serious failings in these decisions and the way they were made. We impose the primary responsibility for these failures on the prime minister, the minister of defence and the [outgoing] chief of staff.

The primary responsibility for these serious failings rests with the prime minister, the minister of defence and the [outgoing] chief of staff

All three made a decisive personal contribution to these decisions and the way in which they were made.

The decision to respond with an immediate, intensive military strike was not based on a detailed, comprehensive and authorized military plan, based on careful study of the complex characteristics of the Lebanon arena....

In making the decision to go to war, the government did not consider the whole range of options, including that of continuing the policy of 'containment', or combining political and diplomatic moves with military strikes below the 'escalation level', or military preparations without immediate military action - so as to maintain for Israel the full range of responses to the abduction. This failure reflects weakness in strategic thinking....

The primary responsibility for these serious failings rests with the prime minister, the minister of defence and the [outgoing] chief of staff.

We single out these three because it is likely that had any of them acted better - the decisions in the relevant period and the ways they were made, as well as the outcome of the war, would have been significantly better....

The prime minister bears supreme and comprehensive responsibility for the decisions of 'his' government and the operations of the army.

The prime minister made up his mind hastily, despite the fact that no detailed military plan was submitted to him and without asking for one...

Also, his decision was made without close study of the complex features of the Lebanon front and of the military, political and diplomatic options available to Israel.

All of these add up to a serious failure in exercising judgment, responsibility and prudence....

Israel's government in its plenum failed in its political function of taking full responsibility for its decisions.

It did not explore and seek adequate response for various reservations that were raised, and authorised an immediate military strike that was not thought-through and suffered from over-reliance on the judgment of the primary decision-makers.

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