Former U.S. President Donald Trump has criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that he was not prepared for the Hamas terrorist attack on Oct. 7. President Trump added that, under his presidency, Israel “wouldn’t have had to be prepared.”
“We have to protect Israel, there’s no choice. And do we have to do it? [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] has been hurt very badly because of what’s happened here. He was not prepared. He was not prepared and Israel was not prepared. And under Trump, they wouldn’t have had to be prepared,” he told Fox News.
The surprise attack sparked a war between Israel and the Hamas terrorist group. More than two thousand people have been killed so far on both sides, many of them civilians.
The Hamas terrorist attack killed hundreds of Israelis, including women and children, with some Hamas terrorists fighting for days within Israeli territory before being repelled. Israel has since initiated a large number of airstrikes on Gaza in anticipation of a likely ground invasion, according to The Hill.
“Who would have thought that their intelligence wouldn’t have been able to pick this up? Thousands of people were involved. Thousands of people knew about it and they let it slip by. That was not a good thing for [Netanyahu] or for anybody,” President Trump added.
The U.S. has reaffirmed its support for Israel in the conflict, as have other western allies. President Biden spoke at a press conference on Oct. 10, in which he said that Israel will have full U.S. support in defending itself.
“In this moment we must be crystal clear: We stand with Israel. And we will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself, and respond to this attack. There’s no justification for terrorism. There’s no excuse,” Biden remarked.
The United States has already sent the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier to the Eastern Mediterranean, and has pledged more military support as needed.
So far, at least 25 Americans have been confirmed killed in Israel, with at least 17 still missing. President Biden has also confirmed that Americans are being held hostage by the terrorist group.
Former President Trump’s comments on Fox News drew criticism from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said the criticism of Mr. Netanyahu was ill advised.
“It is absurd that anyone, much less someone running for President, would choose now to attack our friend and ally, Israel,” Mr. DeSantis wrote on the X social media platform.
The relationship between President Trump and Mr. Netanyahu has soured somewhat since Mr. Trump’s time as President. While addressing supporters in Florida on Oct. 11, the former President pointed at some of the things he said went wrong over the last week with regard to Israel’s preparedness.
“They’ve got to straighten it out because they’re fighting potentially a very big force, they’re fighting potentially with Iran,” President Trump said.
Reuters contributed to this article.