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Netanyahu Barred Israeli Intel Security Heads From Talking to US Officials - Reports

© AP Photo / Tsafrir AbayovIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.05.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has several times prohibited the heads of Israeli intelligence and security services from holding talks with US officials since October 7, the Axios news outlet reported on Sunday, citing three US and Israeli officials.
US Congress delegations that have traveled to the Jewish state during the escalation of the Gaza conflict, only one has met with chiefs of the Israeli intelligence and security agencies, which indicates a dramatic drop in the number of contacts, the report said.
The last time Netanyahu banned the agencies' chiefs from talking to a US official was about three weeks ago, when US Senator Marco Rubio paid a visit to Israel.
"There have been several cases like that," a US official was quoted by the news portal as saying.
The official also expressed their belief that Netanyahu "was just trying to keep the US government from getting information that is contrary to his line." However, such attempts have been successful only in part, as Israeli and US officials have many workarounds for contacts, the official reportedly added.
This combination photograph created on October 12, 2023 shows (L) a file photograph taken on October 24, 2022 of Israel's former defence minister Benny Gantz in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv, and (R) a file photograph taken on October 12, 2023 of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inside The Kirya, which houses the Israeli Defence Ministry, in Tel Aviv - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.05.2024
Israeli Political Crisis Deepens as IDF Failures Prompt Cabinet Resignation Threat
On October 7, 2023, Palestinian movement Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel and breached the border, attacking both civilian neighborhoods and military bases. Nearly 1,200 people in Israel were killed and some 240 others were abducted during the attack. Israel launched retaliatory strikes, ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, and started a ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages.
Over 35,400 people have been killed so far by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip, local authorities said. More than 100 hostages are still believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza.
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