October 7 attacks caught Israel off-guard on strategic level: Former Israeli NSA

Bengaluru: The crisis unfolding in the Middle-East highlights a global risk as it not only affects Israel but also every other democratic country that is a victim of attacks by jihadi groups, Israel’s former national security advisor Uzi Arad said on Saturday.

Speaking at a session on global risks and intelligence at Synergie Conclave, the former director of Mossad stressed that the ramifications of the failure of intelligence in avoiding a conflict have had a far-reaching impact.

He said the crisis unfolding in the Middle-Eastern region should be referred to as a “global crisis” because “it has the potential to escalate”.

“The surprise attack caught Israel off-guard on a strategic level. The nature of the attack sheds light on the state of Israeli intelligence, which failed to predict the attack. As a result, Israel is paying the consequence of not thinking strategically,” Arad said.

“The surprise attack and its consequences highlight the failure of their system. We overstated the value of our technical means to provide the kind of warning needed to counter such an attack. We fell short of sufficient intelligence,” the former national security advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Palestinian militant group Hamas went on a rampage in Israel on October 7, killing at least 1,200 people and kidnapping 240 others.

Arad, however, opposed the view that Hamas had succeeded in ensuring that Israel’s intelligence didn’t obtain the warning they needed.

“We also failed in knowing the enemy. We refused to accept the very character of those jihadi groups,” he said.

Reiterating that the crises posed a global risk, he stated that it not only affects Israel but also every democratic country that is a victim of such attacks.

“We should have information from reliable sources, which has been done in the past. It is the duty of intelligence organisations that are mandated to provide a warning.

“Victories are not promised and warnings are not guaranteed in the field of intelligence. So we should do it professionally and responsibly, and combat radicalism cooperatively,” he said.

Press Trust of India (PTI) is India’s premier news agency, having a reach as vast as the Indian Railways. It employs more than 400 journalists and 500 stringers to cover almost every district and small town in India.

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