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Israel's Finance Minister Says He Has 'No Trust' In Army After Hamas Attack

17.04.2024 18:57

‘I stopped trusting the army,’ Bezalel Smotrich says.

Israel's far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said Wednesday that he no longer trusts the army after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack.

"We gave the security system a blank check, and we ended up with the Oct. 7 attacks, I stopped trusting the army," Smotrich told the Army Radio.

"I love them (the soldiers) and appreciate them, but I am not willing to give them unlimited permission to act," he added.

Smotrich said the "concept of the small and smart army" that Israel has always boasted about has "collapsed," and that it now needs a "large and ferocious army."

The extremist minister's remarks came after he rejected a government plan to purchase F-35 and F-15 fighter jets.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, in which nearly 1,200 people were killed.

More than 33,900 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have since been killed in Gaza, and over 76,600 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

*Writing by Mohammad Sio in Istanbul -

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