ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Shin Bet chief: We were unable to thwart Oct. 7 onslaught, responsibility is mine

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Ronen Bar, head of the Shin Bet security agency, speaks at the annual Cyber Week event at Tel Aviv University, on June 27, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Ronen Bar, head of the Shin Bet security agency, speaks at the annual Cyber Week event at Tel Aviv University, on June 27, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The head of the Shin Bet security agency says he is personally responsible for the lack of an early warning for Hamas’s murderous attack on southern Israel on October 7.

In a missive to members of the agency, Ronen Bar writes: “Despite a series of actions we carried out, unfortunately on Saturday we were unable to generate a sufficient warning that would allow the attack to be thwarted.”

“As the one who heads the organization, the responsibility for this is mine,” Bar says. “There will be time for investigations. Now we are fighting.”

Several hours before the attack on October 7, the defense establishment identified unusual movement in the Gaza Strip, leading to a late-night phone call between senior officials, but the signs were largely dismissed.

Still, according to Hebrew-language media reports, Bar went to the agency’s headquarters and ordered a small team deployed to the Gaza border, anticipating a small-scale attack.

At least 10 members of the Shin Bet were killed during the attacks on October 7, according to the agency.

“We are in a war, not a round [of fighting]. A round you win with a victory image and silence; a war ends with a decisive victory and a change of situation. There is no border limit, no time limit. Till the very end,” Bar adds.

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