Israeli media sources reported on Wednesday that The GOC Northern Command Major General Gadi Eisenkott admitted that Israel embarked on the Second Lebanon War last year knowing that the conflict would not return the two Israeli soldiers whose kidnap by Hezbollah sparked the hostilities.
Speaking at a school near Tel Aviv, the General commented that "After a couple of hours it became clear that we would not get the kidnapped soldiers back through military means." He said that the Israeli armed forces had planned on a 4-6 day conflict, but that the situation had changed and the war actually lasted for more than a month.
He stated that the primary objective of the war was to attack Hezbollah, launch a massive strike on Hezbollah targets, and return the territory in which the group was operating to Lebanese sovereignty.
Eisenkott also said that on July 12, there were several 'successful operations' in the Gaza Strip, including an assault on Hamas' military infrastructure. This is the same day that Israeli army reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were seized by Hezbollah, during a patrol on the Israeli side of the border with Lebanon.
After talking for just 10 minutes, Eisenkott's lecture was stopped by members of his staff and representatives of the Israeli army Spokesman's office, and members of the media were told to leave. It appears that his comments had not been approved by Israeli army Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi.