Netanyahu responsible for failure: Israeli newspaper Haaretz

Ahram Online , Sunday 8 Oct 2023

The editorial page of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of a political and security failure after Hamas’ surprise Saturday attack left hundreds of Israelis dead and wounded.

File photo: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. AP


The editorial on Sunday said that Netanyahu, “who has prided himself on his vast political experience and irreplaceable wisdom in security matters, completely failed to identify the dangers he was consciously leading Israel into,” and did not appreciate the reality in Gaza.

Haaretz, one of the most widely circulated Israeli newspapers, wrote that “establishing a government of annexation and dispossession, …appointing Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir to key positions,” is the main reason behind the failure.

The editorial noted that "embracing a foreign policy that openly ignored the existence and rights of Palestinians” pushed the Palestinians to strike back.

Meanwhile, other Israeli commentators drew parallels between the Hamas attack and similar intelligence failures that preceded the 1973 October War 50 years ago, which also caught Israel by surprise.

Jacob Dalal, in an article on the Times of Israel blog, claimed the Hamas attack revealed a complex failure by the army and intelligence services.

Jacob Dallal is a reserve major in the Israeli army and was a spokesman for the army during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

He explained that although the Israeli army has been training to counter an infiltration assault like what happened on Saturday, they thought it would come from Hezbollah in Lebanon and did not consider it could come from Gaza.

He pointed to the hundreds of dead and wounded, and yet-unknown number of prisoners as evidence of this failure.

Dalal said that “international public opinion, initially sympathetic to Israel, will sour soon — with days, or a week or two — especially as Israel deepens its operation in Gaza.”

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