Former Israeli general says media keeping quiet on Israeli army chaos in Gaza

Former Israeli general says media keeping quiet on Israeli army chaos in Gaza
A former Israeli army general has revealed that Israeli soldiers are suffering in Gaza amid a lack of equipment, logistical support, and even food.
3 min read
24 February, 2024
Brik said he told Netanyahu that soldiers were not immediately ready for war [Getty]

A retired Israeli army commander has revealed there was "total chaos" among Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip due to a lack of equipment and logistics, while Israel’s prime minister was being threatened by his far-right coalition.

Former Maj. Gen. Itzhak Brik stated that he informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following October 7 that the army was not immediately ready to go to war.

"His team did not want him to hear the truth, so they kept him away from me. I told him that the army is not ready to immediately go to war, because there are soldiers who have not trained for five years and there is a shortage of equipment," Brik told Hebrew newspaper Maariv, in comments published on Saturday.

The Israeli military has been bombarding the Gaza Strip since 7 October after Hamas' surprise attack, which killed around 1,200 people in southern Israel. The Palestinian group also took over 250 hostages.

Hamas said the attack was in self-defence after decades of Israel’s siege on Gaza and the occupation of Palestinian territories.

Israel’s ruthless air and ground assault in Gaza since then has killed close to 30,000 people, mostly civilians, and has destroyed much of the enclave.

"Since October 7, I have been receiving many inquiries from soldiers," Brik told Maariv, adding that the "huge chaos" in Israel’s army ranks in Gaza was not being talked about.

"Equipment, logistics, food, and everything needed to move us forward is not working, because the army has outsourced everything to private companies," the former general said.

"There is no one to immediately repair the tanks. Dozens of tanks are stuck [in the Gaza] waiting to be withdrawn," he continues.

He says the Israeli media is keeping quiet on this, most likely to preserve morale amid intensifying criticism of Netanyahu’s government.

Israel says over 130 captives remain held in Gaza by Hamas, some of whom are dead. Many were killed in Israeli airstrikes.

Brik added that he met with Netanyahu six times since the start of the war.

"He has very radical people in the [governing] coalition who threaten him that they will dismantle the government if he doesn’t do what they want," he tells Maariv, "and the government is more important to him than the country – this is our main problem."

He added that what Netanyahu told him in private was different from what he said in public with regards to going to war, alleging that National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir holds significant influence on the premier.

"In the last conversation, even when I convinced him of what I will now tell you, when he came out, he spoke a different language. Because he was constantly threatened by Ben-Gvir that, if he didn't do this and that, he would dissolve his government, and his fear of the government dissolving is greater than the security problem he has to deal with."