Outrage in Israel after Netanyahu blamed security services for Hamas operation

Ahram Online , Sunday 29 Oct 2023

Israel's war cabinet member Benny Gantz and opposition leader Yair Lapid criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday following his post on platform X (formerly Twitter), in which he blamed security and military intelligence heads for Hamas’ 7 October operation, Israeli media reported.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz speak during a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Oct. 28, 2023. AP

 

“When we are at war, leadership needs to be responsible, to decide to do the right things and support the security forces in a way in which they can carry out what we demand of them. Any other action or comment harms the resilience of the people and its forces," said Gantz, national unity chairman and former defence minister.

 “The prime minister must retract his comments from yesterday and stop dealing with this issue,” he added.

 “Netanyahu has crossed a red line," said Lapid, the leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party.

"While the Israeli army soldiers and commanders are fighting against Hamas and Hezbollah, he attempts to shift the blame onto them instead of backing them,” Lapid added, calling on Netanyahu to retract his words.

Late on Saturday, Netanyahu wrote a post on X, insisting that he never received any warnings of Hamas “war intentions” at any stage, adding “all the security services, including the head of military intelligence and the head of the Shin Bet, were of the opinion that Hamas was deterred and wanted to come to a settlement.”

Lapid asserted that Netanyahu received intelligence information prior to the Al-Aqsa Flood operation.

He wrote on X, contrary to Netanyahu's claims, "On Sept. 20, I issued an unusual warning against a violent outbreak on several stages. The intelligence documents I relied on were also submitted to Netanyahu. Those who provided the intelligence are the same members of the security system whom Netanyahu now accuses of failing to warn."

Israel's military spokesperson refused to comment on Netanyahu's statement saying "We are at war. The Israeli army will investigate this severely; we rely on the public's trust."

Following the backlash, Netanyahu deleted his post.

His office clarified that "During the night, the serious accusations that the Prime Minister received specific warnings for the war, which was not the case, resurfaced. The Prime Minister responded to his. The Prime Minister is focused on leading the campaign and has full confidence in the Israeli army and the security forces and in their ability to achieve the goals of the war."

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