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Netanyahu has sidestepped accountability for failing to forestall Hamas assault, as a substitute blaming others

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A rising checklist of Israeli officers have accepted duty for failing to forestall Hamas’ brutal assault on Israeli communities throughout the Oct. 7 incursion that triggered the present Israel-Hamas struggle. Conspicuously absent from that roll name is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Following the horrific assault, which noticed the deadliest day for Israelis because the nation was established 75 years in the past, Netanyahu has repeatedly sidestepped accountability. He has as a substitute blamed others, in what critics say exhibits a pacesetter pondering extra about his personal political survival than soothing and steering a traumatized nation.

“Netanyahu is combating a private battle of survival and that takes priority over combating Israel’s struggle in opposition to Hamas,” mentioned Netanyahu biographer and journalist Anshel Pfeffer. “As a part of that battle, he is ready to malign those that at the moment are commanding Israel’s military and intelligence companies.”

When tons of of Hamas militants broke down Israel’s seemingly impenetrable safety techniques and stormed by means of its communities, Israel’s vaunted safety forces have been caught off guard. Some 1,400 folks have been killed and it took hours for troopers to reach. The struggle has killed greater than 9,000 Palestinians, in keeping with Palestinian well being officers, and ravaged many elements of the Gaza Strip.

The assault additionally shattered a widely-held perception amongst Israeli army, intelligence and political leaders that Hamas was tired of a brand new battle and that Israel’s army energy served as a deterrent.

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Israel’s prime safety brass, together with the army chief of employees, the protection minister and the top of the home safety company Shin Wager, got here ahead and accepted duty for the blunder within the days after the assault.

Netanyahu, nonetheless, has not taken outright duty for the missteps that led up the horrific assault, regardless of serving as prime minister for 13 of the previous 14 years. He says there can be time for investigations — after the struggle.

“This debacle can be investigated. Everybody must give solutions, together with me,” Netanyahu mentioned, two and half weeks after the assault. However he has disregarded criticism and rejected ideas that he ought to resign.

“The one factor that I intend to have resign is Hamas. We’re going to resign them to the dustbin of historical past,” he informed reporters final weekend. “That’s my duty.”

Netanyahu, a polarizing determine in Israel, has additionally confronted criticism over his response to the disaster.

He has been accused of failing to unite the nation with any resounding, uplifting speech or act. Many Israelis have pointed to U.S. President Joe Biden, who visited Israel within the days after the assault, as having higher fulfilled that position.

Netanyahu was criticized for ready many days to go to with the households of the greater than 240 folks believed kidnapped by Hamas who primarily got here from liberal-leaning communal farms that have a tendency to not vote for Netanyahu. The economic system is spiraling, and Israelis bemoan the gradual authorities response to deal with the pressing wants of 250,000 displaced Israelis.

However the greatest uproar came to visit the weekend, when in a late night time tweet, Netanyahu pointedly blamed his safety chiefs for the debacle, saying he by no means acquired any warning from them about Hamas’ intentions and that, quite the opposite, he was guided by their recommendation that Hamas was deterred.

Netanyahu’s new wartime governing accomplice slammed it. “Throughout struggle, management should act responsibly,” Benny Gantz, a former army chief of employees, posted on X, previously Twitter, calling on Netanyahu to take again his phrases.

Netanyahu deleted the tweet and later apologized, saying it “mustn’t have been mentioned.”

However critics say the injury has been executed. Idit Shafran Gittleman, a senior researcher at Israel’s Institute for Nationwide Safety Research, mentioned the tweet got here at a time when religion in Israel’s safety companies is at a nadir.

“There may be hurt to the safety brass but in addition hurt to the religion of troopers on the bottom,” who see their prime minister centered on issues apart from profitable the struggle.

Clashes between Netanyahu and his safety chiefs aren’t new. Shafran Gittleman pointed to his obvious refusal this 12 months to simply accept their warnings {that a} deliberate overhaul of the nation’s judiciary threatened state safety. Scores of senior reservists and fighter pilots, key pillars of the army, had threatened to cease serving if the overhaul continued, although they’ve rushed again to responsibility since Oct. 7.

Netanyahu’s allies and the core of his nationalist base say the Israeli chief is dealing with unfair and poorly timed criticism by the identical figures within the media and within the public who’ve lengthy opposed him.

“Both we wait till a public inquiry that can decide who’s guilty and for now we concentrate on victory over Hamas, or already now everybody blames everybody and Netanyahu additionally has the fitting to reply,” Shimon Riklin, a journalist near Netanyahu, posted on X.

The assault and its aftermath have undeniably posed the most important problem to Netanyahu’s prolonged tenure and can possible ceaselessly stain his legacy. It has shattered his rigorously manicured picture as a robust chief with burnished safety credentials who has labored tirelessly to guard Israel from its myriad threats.

Opinion polls present assist for Netanyahu’s Likud Social gathering has tanked, the general public views him as considerably much less match to rule than his major political opponent, Gantz, and his present coalition has nowhere close to the assist wanted to control have been elections held immediately.

That is additionally not the primary time Netanyahu has shirked blame for a disaster on his watch. He has dismissed a corruption trial as a part of a media-orchestrated witch-hunt in opposition to him.

And final 12 months, whereas testifying earlier than an inquiry into the deaths of 45 folks at a stampede at a Jewish pilgrimage web site, Netanyahu mentioned he was unaware of the problems which will have led to the trampling. “You may’t take duty for what you do not know,” he mentioned.

Noam Tibon, a former army common who was outspoken in opposition to the judicial overhaul and rescued his son and his household from the Hamas assault, mentioned the nation wanted unity to win the struggle however that Netanyahu was sowing division.

“Each Israeli must ask, ‘Do I imagine that Netanyahu can lead Israel to victory on this struggle?’”


Full AP protection: https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.

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