US intelligence report states Netanyahu’s viability to lead Israel is in jeopardy

US intelligence report states Netanyahu’s viability to lead Israel is in jeopardy - Politics - News

US Intelligence Report Warns of Deepening Distrust in Netanyahu’s Leadership Amidst Ongoing Crisis in Israel

The US intelligence community has released its annual report on national security threats to the United States, warning that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political viability is in jeopardy due to deepening public distrust following the October 7 attack by Hamas. According to the report, large protests demanding Netanyahu’s resignation and new elections are expected.

The Israeli population broadly supports the destruction of Hamas; however, the report highlights concerns over Netanyahu’s response to the crisis, which has entered its fifth month and has resulted in widespread destruction and loss of life in Gaza. Public polling suggests that many Israelis question whether Netanyahu’s military offensive is the best way to recover the hostages.

Netanyahu has faced criticism for his government’s failure to prevent or anticipate the attack, as well as for the prolonged military campaign in Gaza. The US intelligence report states that Israel is likely to face lingering armed resistance from Hamas for years, making it challenging for the Israeli military to neutralize Hamas’s underground infrastructure.

The divide between Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden over civilian casualities and humanitarian aid in Gaza has grown increasingly tense. Reports of civilian casualties, starvation, and disease have led to calls from the Biden administration for Israel to allow more aid into Gaza. In an interview over the weekend, Biden criticized Netanyahu for hurting Israel rather than helping it.

Netanyahu responded by denying that he was pursuing private policies against the wishes of the majority of Israelis and suggested that Biden’s concerns were misplaced.

The report also warns that Hamas has inspired both al-Qaeda and ISIS, which have directed their supporters to conduct attacks against Israeli and US interests.

Within the US, the threat of a terrorist attack has reached unprecedented levels since October 7. FBI Director Chris Wray testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee that homegrown, jihadist-inspired extremists, domestic violent extremists, foreign terrorist organizations, and state-sponsored terrorist organizations all pose heightened threats at the same time.

The annual intelligence report offers an unclassified snapshot of how the intelligence community perceives various national security threats facing the United States. The hearing provided an opportunity for Congressional leaders to publicly question the nation’s top intelligence officials on these matters.

The normally security-focused hearing delved into political grounds, with Republican lawmakers pressing intelligence leaders on issues related to the US southern border. In the final moments of the hearing, the panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, called for maintaining a non-political tone, while Republican Sen. Jim Risch accused some Democrats of politicizing the panel.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and CIA Director Bill Burns also testified on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, where Russia has regained momentum and Ukraine is facing ammunition shortages. The US intelligence community assesses that without additional assistance, Ukraine will likely lose ground in 2024.

Additionally, the report sheds light on China’s growing support for Russia in the conflict. Since the beginning of the war, China has tripled its exports of goods with potential military use to Russia while offering defense industrial base assistance and cheaper energy prices in exchange for greater access to the Arctic.