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Netanyahu apologizes and deletes tweet in which he blamed his intelligence chiefs for the Hamas attack

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been involved this Sunday in his biggest internal controversy since the Hamas attack on the 7th. He has criticized his intelligence chiefs on Platform X, saying that they never warned him that Hamas was planning his large-scale attack on October 7, but has since retracted his comments and apologized. His comments, published in X at 1 a.m. Sunday, caused a political uproar and a division within his war cabinet. While senior officials – from military chiefs and the Shin Bet domestic spy service to his finance minister – have acknowledged his failures, Netanyahu has not. He has only said that there will be time to ask difficult questions, including about himself, after the war.

Israel’s military spokesman, when asked about Netanyahu’s comments during a daily briefing with reporters, declined to answer, saying: “We are now at war, focused on war.” Israeli officials have said the events leading up to the Hamas attack, including the handling of it, would be investigated, but that the current focus was on the conflict.

Netanyahu’s now-deleted post said: “At no time or stage was a warning given to Prime Minister Netanyahu about Hamas’ war intentions. 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 agreement.

In a second post on “I give my full support to all the heads of the security services,” he said. Netanyahu’s initial comments were quickly rebuked by current and former allies, including Benny Gantz, a former defense minister who now serves in Netanyahu’s war cabinet. Gantz said in X that Netanyahu should retract what he said and leave the matter at that.

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