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Netanyahu blames security agencies for intelligence failure, then pulls back - POLITICO Europe

Author: POLITICO Europe

Source: https://www.politico.eu/article/israel-hostages-palestine-hamas-benjamin-netanyahu-blames-security-agencies/

Image of Netanyahu blames security agencies for intelligence failure, then pulls back - POLITICO Europe

A social media post by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashing out at military and security chiefs for allowing a deadly Hamas attack on October 7 was promptly deleted on Sunday after triggering negative comments, many from Israel’s own war cabinet.As the post on X unleashed a wave of furious reactions by high-ranking Israeli security officials, exposing deep internal divisions, Netanyahu published a new post saying: “I was wrong.”“The things I said following the press conference should not have been said and I apologize for that,” he wrote.“I give full backing to all the heads of the security arms.I am strengthening the Chief of Staff and the commanders and soldiers of the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] who are at the front,” he added in the post.Netanyahu has drawn public criticism for refusing to take any responsibility in not preventing Hamas’ assault earlier this month, when the militant group killed more than 1,400 people and took around 200 hostages.So far, the Israeli leader has simply said that, once the war is over, tough questions would be asked of everybody, including himself.The deleted post reflected his attempt to deflect any personal responsibility, taking a clear aim at security chiefs. “Under no circumstances and at no stage was Prime Minister Netanyahu warned of war intentions on the part of Hamas,” it read.“On the contrary, the assessment of the entire security echelon, including the head of military intelligence and the head of Shin Bet, was that Hamas was deterred and was seeking an arrangement.”It added: “This was the assessment presented time and again to the prime minister and the cabinet by all the security echelon and the intelligence community, including right up until the outbreak of the war.” Reuters reported that Israel’s military spokesperson declined to comment on Netanyahu’s blaming of the intelligence agencies, saying: “We are now at war, focused on the war.”

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