Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly apologized for accusing security and intelligence officials of failing to predict the devastating Hamas raid that led to Israel invading Gaza. Netanyahu made the accusations in a now-deleted post on social media platform X, known as Twitter in the past. He later replaced the post with an apology, acknowledging that he was wrong in his previous statements. Netanyahu’s apology comes amid strong opposition criticism over security lapses.
In his deleted post, Netanyahu stated that he was never alerted to Hamas’ intentions to launch a war and that all security officials, including the heads of military intelligence and the internal security agency, believed Hamas was deterred. This evaluation was repeated to the prime minister and the security cabinet until the war broke out. The post was published hours after Netanyahu’s press conference on Saturday, where he was asked if he had been warned about a potential attack.
Following the deletion of his post, Netanyahu published a new one, expressing his regret and apologizing for his previous statements. He admitted that the things he said after the press conference should not have been said.
The Likud party chief could face considerable pressure if an independent inquiry finds the government negligent. Although Netanyahu has promised an investigation, he has not provided details on how it will be conducted.
Amidst the controversy, Amnon Shashua, the head of a leading auto technologies firm and a prominent Israeli businessman, has called for the immediate ouster of Netanyahu and his government. In an opinion piece in financial daily Calcalist, Shashua accused the government of failures, dissonance, and incompetence. He believes that replacing the current government with a new coalition within the current parliament would be the best solution for the current situation in Israel.
Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on Shashua’s editorial.
Netanyahu has so far not taken responsibility for the intelligence and operational failures, only stating that tough questions, including ones directed at himself, will be asked after the war.
Shashua, who co-founded Mobileye and founded One Zero digital bank and AI firm AI21 Labs, is urging swift action to address the state of affairs in Israel.
In summary, Prime Minister Netanyahu has issued a public apology for accusing security officials of failing to predict the Hamas raid. Amid opposition criticism and calls for his ouster, Netanyahu has expressed regret for his previous statements. The situation remains tense as a prominent Israeli businessman calls for immediate government change. The aftermath of the war is expected to bring tough questions and potential accountability.