Netanyahu expresses contrition to angry Israelis as he continues bombing Gaza

Ahram Online , Wednesday 25 Oct 2023

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he will face a probe into what happened on 7 October, Hamas's attack, stressing that the investigation must not take place until after the war.

Benjamin Netanyahu
File Photo: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. AFP


"October 7 was a black day in our history. We will get to the bottom of what happened on the southern border and the Gaza envelope area. The debacle will be checked to the full".

"Everyone will have to give answers on the debacle — including myself — but all that will happen only after the war", he said, addressing Israelis.

"As prime minister, I am responsible for securing the state's future. And right now, my job is to lead the state of Israel and the people to a crushing victory over our enemies. Now is the time to join forces for one goal: to surge forward to victory… with deep faith in the justice of our cause".

Netanyahu avoided again taking responsibility for the military and governmental failure that preceded Hamas's attack, just as several Israeli security officials have done. 

"We are preparing for a ground operation" in the Gaza Strip, Netanyahu said, adding that "the timing of the operation was decided unanimously by the war cabinet."

Tens of members of the families of Israelis who were taken captive by Hamas on 7 October have charged that Netanyahu and his war cabinet were acting on Gaza in a way that shows they are more interested in furthering their own political agendas than saving their loved ones.

Netanyahu committing war crimes

Israeli PM Netnayahu's government continued to launch relentless airstrikes against 2.3 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, committing all sorts of atrocities and war crimes against Palestinian civilians,  for the 19th day in a row.

In the past 24 hours, Israel escalated its bombardment across the Gaza Strip destroying more homes and leaving  6,500 Palestinians killed and more 17,400 wounded.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health Tuesday, 10 of the 35 hospitals in the Gaza Strip are out of service, along with 65 percent of primary health care facilities. Meanwhile, 178 educational institutions, including 140 government schools and 20 UNRWA schools, are out of service.

The ministry estimated that 1.4 million Gazans have been displaced. Of these, 685,000 are sheltering with other families, 565,000 in 148 schools affiliated with the UNRWA, 101,000 in mosques, churches, and public places, and 70,000 in 67 government schools.

The statement said that 42 percent of housing units in the Gaza Strip have been destroyed by Israeli bombardment. Of these, 26,684 units have been totally destroyed, while  140,500 have been partially destroyed, 

US messages to Tel Aviv

Israel accepted a request from the US to temporarily delay its planned Gaza ground invasion to give Washington more time to deploy additional air defense systems to protect its groups in the region, according to US and Israeli officials who spoke to The Times of Israel.

The Pentagon is rushing to deploy roughly a dozen air defense systems to protect American troops in several Arab states from missile attacks.

Iran-backed proxies have carried out at least 13 attacks on US targets since the outbreak of the Israeli war in Gaza. Two dozen US soldiers were injured in an attack in Syria, and ten US troops were wounded in another attack in Iraq.  

The Times of Israel reported Wednesday that US officials said the targeted US troops sustained minor injuries.

US officials told the Wall Street Journal that the air defense systems could be deployed later this week.

But the US request is not the only factor Israel is taking into account, as it readies for a ground invasion, according to the WSJ report.

The US is also factoring in efforts to supply humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza as well as diplomatic efforts to release more captives, the officials told the Journal.

Immediately after the outbreak of the recent conflict, President Biden sent two US Navy carrier groups - the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the USS Gerald R. Ford - to the eastern Mediterranean to demonstrate US support to Tel Aviv.

The US also sent a rapid response force of 2,000 Marines and sailors to back Israel.

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