Helit Barel, the former director of the Israel National Security Council, hinted at a lapse in intelligence, indicating that the multi-front terror attack by Hamas had taken the country by surprise. In an interview conducted virtually with an Indian media agency, she expressed that the attacks might have been preventable if the intelligence branch of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had been at the necessary level of readiness.
Further, Barel acknowledged that Israel was currently in a state of war and faced a series of challenges and tasks. She stated, “It is quite clear that this attack caught us by surprise. There is no way that such terrible consequences would have occurred if Israeli forces’ intelligence were at the kind of readiness that we know and expect. Currently, we are in a state of war…There is a sequence of challenges and tasks at hand beginning with still getting all the areas down south where there were terrorist infiltrations completely cleared.”
Regarding the IDF’s operation to neutralize terrorists in the conflict region near the Gaza border and across Israel, she explained, “The forces are walking house by house and corner by corner, making sure terrorists aren’t hiding anywhere. We have the larger task of making sure that all other arenas that Israel faces stay calm, including the internal arena…I think inevitably, there will be very strong retributions within the Gaza Strip, and I think it will be of a magnitude that we certainly have not seen before.”
Barel highlighted the impact of the terror attacks and subsequent retaliatory strikes on civilians across the country, emphasizing that it was not the time to analyze what went wrong. She stressed the need for answers and understanding to ensure the security of Israeli citizens.
World leaders from Nepal, Sri Lanka, the UK, and Japan expressed solidarity with Israel in the aftermath of the terror attacks, which have claimed over 300 lives and are expected to have a higher toll.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted his support for Israel, condemning the Hamas attack as “cowardly and depraved” and pledging to work with international partners to coordinate support.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the attacks by Hamas and expressed condolences to the bereaved families and sympathies to the injured.
The attacks began around 6:30 am local time on Sunday, with rockets fired from Gaza hitting several cities in Israel. This was followed by Hamas terrorists entering Israel from the Gaza Strip and laying siege to Israeli towns.
Senior Hamas military leader Mohammed Deif declared the rocket launch as the start of “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” and called on Palestinians worldwide to resist Israeli occupation. The Israeli forces advised citizens near the Gaza Strip to remain indoors.
In response to the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stern warning to Hamas, stating that they had initiated a terrible war, and that the IDF would use all its strength to undermine their capacity. Netanyahu decried the killing of innocent civilians and emphasized the need to prevent such events from recurring.
Also Read: Israel Defense Forces Claim to Kill Over 400 Terrorists Within Gaza
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