The Israeli president has revealed ‘evidence’ that Hamas militants were manufacturing chemical weapons.
According to Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Hamas fighters who infiltrated Israel were carrying chemical weapons manufacturing instructions.
The item was recovered on the body of a dead fighter in Kibbutz Be’eri, where an estimated 20% of the 1,100 residents were slain or kidnapped, according to Israeli authorities.
President Herzog revealed the documents to Sky News on Sunday evening, October 22.
The documents’ source is a known 2003 al Qaeda manual, although this does not indicate a link between the two organizations.
“It’s al Qaeda material. Official al Qaeda material. We are dealing with ISIS, al Qaeda and Hamas,” Mr Herzog said.
“This is how shocking the situation is where we’re looking at the instructions that are given on how to operate and how to create a kind of non-professional chemical weapon with cyanide.”
The intelligence, which has been declassified, shows the ingredients needed to make a chemical bomb.
Asked whether he understands why many Israelis are angry and feel they’ve been let down by the government and security forces, Herzog agreed.
“Absolutely. I hear it all day long. I hear it from families all day long and I hear it from refugees, those who have had to leave and are now in hotels and other places around the country and shelters, only with a simple bit of clothing and that’s it. People are very, very frustrated and clearly very angry and justifiably so.”
The president refused to point the finger at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yet: “Because we are at war, because we have to overcome, because we are rising like a lion, because we have to defend our people and change reality, we will deal with all of that after the war.”
Herzog dismissed accusations that Israel’s bombing of Gaza is having a disproportionate effect on civilians and argued that Israel has no choice but to eliminate Hamas.
“It’s not true. We have realistic objectives. We say we want to wipe out the military infrastructure of Hamas. We’ve said it clearly. We are cautious. Already two weeks have gone by, and we haven’t operated on the ground because we are cautious.
“I cry for the lives of Palestinians but first and foremost I cry for the lives of my nation.”
More than 4,500 people have been killed in 16 days of Israeli airstrikes, according to figures from the Hamas-controlled health ministry.
Pushed on what happens to Gaza if Israel achieves its objectives and wipes out Hamas, Mr Herzog said that is the decision of Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Reality is shattered. People are asking themselves deep questions. Is it possible? Can I make peace with a neighbour who wants to chop my children’s heads off? Is it feasible?”
“I can’t go into this [a two-state solution] right now when my nation is bleeding, and in pain, and in agony.
“I’m always thinking about what kind of vision we can create. I believe in the inclusion of Israel in the region. As a part of the process we need to find a way to have a further life with the Palestinians, but not when they celebrate the fact that so many thousands of Israelis are being killed in the most horrendous terror attack in modern times.”