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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:11, November 13, 2006
IDF chief of staff rejects findings of inquiry on soldiers' capture
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Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Dan Halutz on Sunday rejected some of conclusions formulated by a commission of inquiry investigating the abduction of two IDF soldiers on the Lebanese border in July, which led to a recent war with Hezbollah.

During a meeting of the IDF General Staff, Halutz said that some of criticisms by the commission, headed by Major General Doron Almog, were baseless.

Almog lashed criticism at the policy of restraint employed by the IDF in recent years, saying that it failed to curb the growing forces of Hezbollah on Lebanon's border with Israel.

Earlier in the day, IDF Galilee Division Commander Brigadier General Gal Hirsch decided to resign from his position amid criticism of his performance prior to and during the month-long war with Hezbollah.

Hirsch hinted in his letter of resignation to Halutz that his superiors should take responsibility for failures made during the war, causing speculation that the comments may be aimed at Halutz himself.

Hirsch also said that he had acted appropriately before and during the war, and he has decided to leave the army because of the anguish caused to his family by recent events.

"I believe that placing divisional commanders at the focus of the investigation of the fighting was a grave error," Hirsch wrote in the letter.

"I believe that it would be right to conclude that concrete responsibility for the errors, the missteps, and the failures, falls not only on the forward units and their commanders -- there is responsibility that truly should be taken by senior echelons," he said.

Almog, who is expected to present his findings later in the day to Defense Minister Amir Peretz, has said recently that he insisted that Hirsch be dismissed from the IDF over his responsibility for the abduction.

In the aftermath of the war, there have been public calls for resignations of Israeli political and military leaders, including Halutz, Peretz and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Source: Xinhua

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