Israeli politicians blame Netanyahu over Hamas attack

Radwa ElSayed Hani , Tuesday 17 Oct 2023

Israel's top politicians blamed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Hamas' surprise attacks on 7 October, describing it as "the greatest failure in the history of Israel".

From left to right: Ehud Olmert, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak


Former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert said that the two-state solution is the only real political solution for this lifelong conflict between Israel and Palestinian states, affirming: "There is no other," during an interview with US newspaper Politico.

Olmert, who served as Israel's Prime Minister between 2006 and 2009, added "I think that the international community will be united against Hamas, which can allow the Palestinian Authority to step in and to start serious negotiations".

"It also requires cooperation from the Israeli side" he noted.

Speaking to Sky News, the Israeli politician held Netanyahu responsible for the failure, stating that the Israeli intelligence warned Netanyahu more than once about the possibility of a Hamas attack, but he was "arrogant", Olmert said.

In an interview with France 24, Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak blamed Netanyahu for "the greatest failure in Israel’s history", adding: "Netanyahu doesn't have the trust of the people, of the families of those who were slaughtered, or of the commanders and the soldiers in the field".

Moreover, the editorial page of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz accused Netanyahu of a political and security failure after Hamas’ surprise attack, that left hundreds of Israelis dead and wounded.

Haaretz, one of the most widely circulated Israeli newspapers, noted that "embracing a foreign policy that openly ignored the existence and rights of Palestinians” pushed the Palestinians to strike back.

From his side, Netanyahu denied claims that he received prior warnings of the Hamas attacks from Gaza.

The Israeli Prime Minister's office said that "he was only updated on 7 October at exactly 06:29, when the fighting broke out, and not before. He immediately went to the Kirya (military headquarters in Tel Aviv), assessed the situation and convened the security cabinet."

Following Hamas' unprecedented surprise attack on 7 October, the Israeli army declared a state of war alert, calling up reserves and carrying out air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

The relentless Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have killed over 2,800 Palestinians and left nearly 11,000 injured, with the vast majority being women and children.

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