Netanyahu's political future remains uncertain as ex-security officials call for resignation

The letter said Mr Netanyahu posed an "existential" threat to Israel. Credit: AP

A group of more than 40 senior former Israeli national security officials, scientists, and well-known business leaders have demanded for the removal of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The letter, sent to Speaker of Parliament Amir Ohana and Mr Netanyahu himself, posed what they said is an "existential" threat to Israel.

Four former directors of Israel’s foreign and domestic security services, two former heads of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and three Nobel Prize winners are among the letter's signatories.

In the letter, the group criticises Mr Netanyahu's coalition government, which they describe as the most right-leaning assembly the country has ever seen, as well as his highly controversial attempts to overhaul Israel's judiciary.

“We believe that Netanyahu bears primary responsibility for creating the circumstances leading to the brutal massacre of over 1,200 Israelis and others, the injury of over 4,500, and the kidnapping of more than 230 individuals, of whom over 130 are still held in Hamas captivity,” it reads. “The victim’s blood is on Netanyahu’s hands.”

The letter was also sent to Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

“Leaders of Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas,” the letter said, “openly praised what they correctly saw as a destabilizing and erosive process of Israel’s stability, led by Netanyahu, and seized the opportunity to harm and damage Israel’s security.”

Mr Netanyahu was elected for a sixth term as prime minister in 2022, continuing his streak of more than a decade as the head of Israeli politics.

His re-election sparked protests in Jerusalem after he vowed to enact policies that were likely to cause domestic and regional turmoil and alienate the country’s closest allies.

His new government pledged to priorities settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, extend massive subsidies to his ultra-Orthodox allies and push for sweeping reform of the judicial system that could endanger the country's democratic institutions.

A protester wears a shirt depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a demonstration to demand the release of the hostages. Credit: AP

The protests have strengthened as many disagree with Mr Netanyahu's actions in Gaza and his handling of the conflict.

Families of those still held hostage by Hamas in Gaza stormed a parliamentary committee session at the start of the week demanding that lawmakers do more to free their relatives.

The letter comes as the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel must take "all measures" to prevent itself from committing genocide in Gaza, where more than 26,000 Palestinians have already been killed, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in the region.

It also recommended that everything possible should be done to secure the immediate and unconditional release of hostages.

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