Israel state watchdog calls on Netanyahu, military chief to cooperate in Oct. 7 probe
Israel state watchdog calls on Netanyahu, military chief to cooperate in Oct. 7 probe
Israel state watchdog calls on Netanyahu, military chief to cooperate in Oct. 7 probe
by DZRH News02 May 2024
FILE PHOTO: A view of a junction shows the aftermath of a mass-infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in the Sderot area, southern Israel October 7, 2023. REUTERS/Ammar Awad/File Photo

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's state auditor on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the head of the armed forces to cooperate with an official investigation into how Hamas was able to stage the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that sparked the Gaza war.

State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman said in the early days of the war that he intended to investigate the events around the Oct. 7 attack, the deadliest single day in the country's 75-year history.

In December, he said his office would "leave no stone unturned" as it looks into the "multisystem failures" leading up to, during and after Oct. 7, and that most of his office's audit plans for 2024 would focus on the probe.

"After more than six months of war, the citizens of Israel are entitled to answers regarding all those responsible for the failure - and the State Comptroller is determined to provide them," Englman wrote in letters to Netanyahu and Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, according to a Facebook post by his office.


The Prime Minister's Office rejected Englman's accusations and said it was fully cooperating with the Comptroller's office, adding that it had learned about the Comptroller's letter from media reports.

"All requests were answered in full, including every question concerning the prime minister, even though the teams of the Prime Minister's Office have been working around the clock on war issues," the statement from the office said.

Israel's Kan public broadcaster reported that, in his letters, the state comptroller said the Prime Minister's Office and the security cabinet were not fully cooperating with his office, leading to delays in the audit.

The report said the National Security Council had restricted access to documents written up to two years before the outbreak of the war.


Hamas gunmen broke through a heavily fortified Israeli security fence around Gaza to attack southern Israeli military bases and towns on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking some 250 hostage, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel has killed more than 34,000 people in the unrelenting assault on the densely-populated Gaza Strip it has mounted in the seven months since, Gaza authorities have said.

The campaign has displaced most of the Palestinian territory's 2.3 million population and laid much of the narrow area to waste, exacerbating a humanitarian crisis that Palestinians in Gaza were already facing under a 16-year blockade. Netanyahu says that he will not end it until Hamas is eliminated.


(Reporting by Jerusalem bureau; Editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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