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War Cabinet Minister Gantz urges immediate investigation into Oct 7 failures, challenging PM Netanyahu

IDF reveals it warned PM four times that enemies perceived Israel as weak

Head of the National Unity party Minister Benny Gantz holds a press conference in Ramat Gan, May 18, 2024 (Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90).

In another public challenge to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz on Thursday called for an immediate high-level investigation of the failures leading up to Hamas’ murderous assault on Oct. 7.

“At this time, it is no longer enough that we take responsibility for what happened. We must take responsibility and act, so that it never happens again,” Gantz said in a statement, adding that “the only way to do this is through a state commission of inquiry that should be set up as soon as possible.”

Netanyahu has so far insisted that the failures of the political echelon should be investigated after the war in Gaza, however, Israel Defense Forces authorities recently began its own internal investigation.

“I intend to soon submit a proposed resolution for its establishment so that the committee can organize itself for the start of work on a date that will be agreed upon,” former IDF chief Gantz continued.

His statement came on the heels of the publication of video footage showing the abduction of five female IDF soldiers on Oct. 7, in addition to the IDF disclosing that its intelligence branch issued four separate warnings to the prime minister ahead of the attack.

Netanyahu was warned that Israel’s enemies saw it as weakened due to the upheaval surrounding the judicial reform, according to the statement.

“We’ve all seen the difficult video of the kidnapping in Nahal Oz, we’ve all seen the public debate about whether or not warning was given to the prime minister,” Gantz, who chairs the National Unity party said.

“There is no doubt – the period and the events leading up to October 7, and the continuation of the campaign since then, are a national upheaval from which we must learn,” he said.

He further noted that establishing a commission at an earlier date could be used to defend Israel against the legal attacks against it at the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.

Following a Freedom of Information request, the IDF revealed on Thursday that it had warned several times against the risks caused by the rift in the Israeli society and that “our enemy sees the harm to cohesion in the country.”

Netanyahu has consistently rejected allegations that he had been forewarned of Hamas’ intentions before Oct. 7.

“The claim that Prime Minister Netanyahu received early warning from IDF Intelligence about a possible attack from Gaza is the opposite of the truth. Not only was there no warning of any kind about a Hamas intention to attack Israel from Gaza, but a completely opposite assessment was provided,” Netanyahu’s office later said in a statement.

“Two references to Hamas in four intelligence documents point out that Hamas did not want to attack Israel from Gaza and that it favored a peaceful arrangement. The first reference, from 19 March 2023, notes that Hamas’s strategy is ‘leaving Gaza on the back burner’ and focusing attacks against Israel from other arenas.”

“The second reference from 31 May 2023 recommended that Israel join the ‘regional de-escalation trend’ and ‘take a step forward toward a peaceful arrangement with the Gaza Strip and the Hamas sovereign.’ All of the security bodies consistently supported these assessments that Hamas was not interested in escalation but in an arrangement with Israel and that Hamas was deterred,” according to the statement.

“As to the claim raised in the documents about the negative effect on our enemies of a lack of cohesion in Israel, the Prime Minister himself repeatedly warned about this danger when he spoke of those refusing to serve in the military. For example, on 17 July 2023, the Prime Minister warned that the internal debate ‘is gnawing away at our deterrence against our enemies who could be tempted to act aggressively against us’,” the statement continued.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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