Israel’s Netanyahu says wasn’t warned of deliberate Hamas assault By Reuters



© Reuters. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with Protection Minister Yoav Gallant and Cupboard minister Benny Gantz, speaks throughout a press convention within the Kirya army base in Tel Aviv, Israel, 28 October 2023. ABIR SULTAN POOL/Pool through REUTERS


JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday took a jab at his intelligence chiefs on the X platform, saying they by no means warned him Hamas was planning its wide-scale assault on Oct. 7, however later retracted his feedback and issued an apology.

The remarks, posted on X at 1 a.m. on Sunday (round 2300 GMT on Saturday), brought on a political uproar and a rift throughout the battle cupboard of Netanyahu, who has drawn public ire for not taking accountability over intelligence and operational failures referring to Hamas’ rampage by southern Israel.

Whereas high officers – from the heads of the army and the Shin Wager home spy service to his finance minister – have all acknowledged their failures, Netanyahu has not.

He has solely mentioned that there could be time to ask robust questions, together with of himself, after the battle.

Israel’s army spokesperson, requested about Netanyahu’s feedback throughout a every day briefing with reporters, declined to reply, saying: “We at the moment are at battle, targeted on the battle.”

Israeli officers have mentioned occasions main as much as and together with the dealing with of the Hamas assault itself could be investigated, however that the present focus was on the battle.

Netanyahu’s now-deleted put up had mentioned: “At no time and no stage was a warning given to Prime Minister Netanyahu relating to battle intentions of Hamas. Quite the opposite, all safety officers, together with the pinnacle of military intelligence and the pinnacle of the Shin Wager, estimated that Hamas was deterred and excited by an association.”

In a second put up on X about 10 hours later, Netanyahu wrote: “I used to be fallacious,” including that his remarks “mustn’t have been made and I apologize for that.”

“I give full backing to all of the heads of the safety branches,” he mentioned.

Netanyahu’s preliminary feedback had been shortly rebuked by present and previous allies, together with Benny Gantz, a former protection minister who’s now in Netanyahu’s battle cupboard.

Gantz mentioned on X that Netanyahu ought to retract what he mentioned and let the matter go.

“After we are at battle, management should present accountability, resolve to do the fitting issues and bolster the forces in a means that they’ll perform what we demand of them,” Gantz mentioned.

The well-planned shock Hamas assault was the deadliest for Israel in its 75-year historical past. Israel has since bombarded the Gaza Strip with devastating air strikes and begun floor operations with the goal of toppling the Iran-backed Islamist group and returning scores of captives kidnapped from Israel to Gaza.

The retracted put up “factors to only one factor: he (Netanyahu) shouldn’t be excited by safety, he isn’t excited by hostages, solely politics,” mentioned opposition lawmaker Avigdor Lieberman, as soon as Netanyahu’s protection minister, in a radio interview.

Yossi Cohen, who headed the Mossad spy company below earlier Netanyahu governments, advised Israel Radio: “You are taking accountability from the start of your job, not from the center.”

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