Last Updated: October 23, 2023, 15:27 IST
Israel’s former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said that he also bears responsibility for the failure to anticipate the deadly attack by Hamas on October 7. Bennett, who served as PM from June 2021-2022, said there were things he didn’t have time to do and then the government fell.
“Of course I also bear responsibility. I served as prime minister for 12 months. There were things I didn’t have time to do and then the government fell. Certainly, I bear responsibility,” Bennett was quoted as saying by The Times of Israel. He later put a post on social media platform X, in which he wrote, “I am also responsible.”
A recent poll has suggested that the Israeli public believes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should publicly shoulder his share of the blame for the failures that led to the Hamas attack in which some 1,400 people were killed.
The devastating surprise attack earlier this month represented staggering intelligence failure that involved undetected warnings, overwhelmed missile defenses, and a slow response by the military forces, according to agency reports. None of the country’s intelligence services had specific warnings that Hamas was preparing an attack such scale that required coordinated land, air, and sea strikes.
More than two weeks after the attack, with 200 hostages still in Gaza, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and Shin Bet head Ronen Bar have already taken responsibility. Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich have also followed suit.
Last week’s poll found that 80 percent of Israelis say Netanyahu should be the next one to take responsibility. The vast majority of Israelis believe Netanyahu should publicly accept his share of the blame for the staggering failures that led to the Hamas attack.
According to an opinion poll by the Maariv newspaper published Friday, eighty percent of Israelis said Netanyahu, who has not made any public statements, should take responsibility. This figure also includes 69 percent of those who voted for the premier’s Likud party in last year’s election.
Only a mere 8 percent of the general public thinks he should not. The survey was conducted on October 18 and 19 by the Lazar Institute, along with Panel4All, among 510 Israeli adults.
(With agency inputs)