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Member of Israel’s war cabinet calls for inquiry into Oct. 7 failures

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published May 24,2024

Benny Gantz, a member of Israel's war cabinet and head of the National Unity party, called Thursday for a state commission of inquiry to be established to investigate the failures leading up to the cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7 last year.

His statement followed the release of a video on Wednesday by the families of Israeli hostages held in Gaza showing the capture of five female soldiers from the Nahal Oz military base in southern Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7.

"We've all witnessed the harrowing footage of the kidnapping in Nahal Oz, and we've all been part of the public discourse regarding whether or not the prime minister was warned," Gantz said in a video message, according to The Times of Israel.

"There's no denying that the period and events leading up to Oct. 7 and the ongoing campaign since then represent a national upheaval from which we must learn."

Gantz further emphasized that it is no longer sufficient to merely accept responsibility for what transpired.

"We must take responsibility and act so that it never happens again," he said.

He said he firmly believes that "the only way to do this is through a state commission of inquiry that should be set up as soon as possible."

The development, according to the Yedioth Ahronoth daily on Thursday, follows reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was issued four separate warning letters from the Military Intelligence Division of the Israeli army between March and July 2023. The warnings suggested that "Israel's enemies" were planning to exploit the judicial overhaul crisis to initiate an attack.

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7 last year, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

More than 35,800 Palestinians have been killed, the vast majority of whom have been women and children, and at least 80,200 others injured since last October.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered it to ensure that its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.