Netanyahu says he wasn’t warned of planned Hamas attack

JERUSALEM, Oct 29 (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 attack 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), induced a political uproar and a rift throughout the struggle cupboard of Netanyahu, who has drawn public ire for not taking duty over intelligence and operational failures referring to Hamas’ rampage by means of southern Israel.

While high officers – from the heads of the navy and the Shin Bet 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 powerful questions, together with of himself, after the struggle.

Israel’s navy spokesperson, requested about Netanyahu’s feedback throughout a every day briefing with reporters, declined to reply, saying: “We are now at war, focused on the war.”

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

Netanyahu’s now-deleted submit had mentioned: “At no time and no stage was a warning given to Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding war intentions of Hamas. On the contrary, all security officials, including the head of army intelligence and the head of the Shin Bet, estimated that Hamas was deterred and interested in an arrangement.”

In a second submit on X about 10 hours later, Netanyahu wrote: “I was wrong,” including that his remarks “should not have been made and I apologize for that.”

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

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

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

“When we are at war, leadership must show responsibility, decide to do the right things and bolster the forces in a way that they can carry out what we demand of them,” Gantz mentioned.

The well-planned shock Hamas attack 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 submit “points to just one thing: he (Netanyahu) is not interested in security, he is not interested in hostages, only 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 underneath earlier Netanyahu governments, advised Israel Radio: “You take responsibility from the beginning of your job, not from the middle.”

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Bernadette Baum

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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