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Netanyahu must be held responsible for his intelligence failure

Photo: Ronen Zvulun Agence France-Presse Le premier ministre israélien, Benjamin Nétanyahou, dirigeant une réunion au ministère de la Défense, à Tel Aviv, en janvier dernier

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must take responsibility for his intelligence failure during the October 7 attacks, said Dr. Uzi Arad, his former national security adviser.

“I believe the Prime Minister was directly involved in the [intelligence] gaps as a decision maker. This is a man who should have known and failed to act,” he lamented while participating in a panel at the Ottawa Conference on Security and Defense on Friday.

Dr. Arad, who also served on the Israeli National Security Council between 2009 and 2011, does not hesitate to describe the October 7 attack as a “terrible intelligence failure.”< /p>

In the wake of Hamas' surprise offensive, many questions were raised regarding Israeli intelligence services, despite Israel having some of the best and best-funded intelligence services in the Middle East.

Dr Arad believes a major mistake was to underestimate Hamas' capabilities. “Their supposed lag in advanced technology and artificial intelligence led them to use simple instruments that far outperformed our much more sophisticated methods,” he explains.

“There is, however, a more important failure: the Israeli intelligence assessment of Hamas, from the highest levels, including the prime minister, that Hamas would never dare carry out such an attack », he testifies.

Today, the Israeli prime minister must take responsibility for operational failures, Dr. Arad believes. “The prime minister has tried to deflect criticism of his performance by blaming the military and the intelligence community. It is unfair. »

Netanyahu attacked his own intelligence services a few weeks after the attack, claiming that they had failed to warn him of the imminent arrival of Hamas. He later apologized for these comments.

The army chief of staff, the head of military intelligence, and the head of the Shin Bet intelligence service all admitted that their services had failed to prevent the attack , Reuters reported.

Five months later, the Israeli public is still demanding accountability. According to Reuters, the prime minister's popularity has plummeted since the October 7 terrorist attack, which claimed the lives of at least 1,160 Israelis and other foreigners, most of them civilians. The war has also left 30,800 dead in Gaza so far, mostly civilians.

“There is a demand that he come forward and admit that he also considers himself responsible for the catastrophe and the attack on Israel. He refuses to do it. He says he will wait for a commission of inquiry, and not before [the end of the war],” explained Dr. Arad, who participated virtually in the Ottawa conference.

On Thursday, the Israeli military reportedly asked its commanders to conduct internal investigations into failures in the lead-up to the October 7 attack, according to the Times of Israel .

Netanyahu's refusal to take responsibility for the failures of the intelligence services certainly creates “difficulties” in relations between him and his supporters, Dr. Arad also indicated.

Israeli media reported in recent days protesters demanding his resignation in the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The Israeli war cabinet is currently shaken by the political rivalry between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the centrist Benny Gantz, at the top of the voting intentions. The next Israeli elections are set for October 27, 2026.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116