Amos Yadlin, a former IDF chief of Military Intelligence, said on Tuesday following a blast at a key Iranian uranium enrichment site that Israel’s process for approving sensitive security-related operations was not being followed, indicating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was acting without the necessary legal authority.
He further suggested that Netanyahu was dangerously stoking tensions with Iran for domestic political purposes as the prime minister tries to form a coalition following last month’s inconclusive elections.
Yadlin raised the concerns in a scathing attack on policy regarding Iran and its nuclear program in the wake of a Sunday explosion that caused a power outage at the Natanz uranium enrichment site, which Tehran has blamed on Israel. Media reports citing intelligence officials have also attributed to the attack to Israel, which has not officially confirmed any role but has hinted at its involvement.
“Sensitive operations, with diplomatic and security significance that include the potential for escalation, require government approval,” Yadlin wrote in a series of tweets. “The cabinet can authorize the [security] cabinet to decide, and the cabinet [can authorize] the prime minister and defense minister.”
“All these processes did not happen, and the decisions are being made while excluding all the decision-making bodies. Knesset oversight has not existed for a long time,” he wrote.
Israel’s security cabinet, which has not met since February, is scheduled to convene next week to discuss the recent developments.
“It is doubtful whether Israel has a comprehensive and up-to-date strategy for conducting the campaign in the era of the Biden presidency, and without a doubt, in the shadow of the political crisis, the essential discussions have not taken place,” Yadlin said.
“Even taking a cautious view, it is doubtful whether we are not witnessing a political timing that influences the initiation of a security crisis with the goal of making it easier for Netanyahu to form another government under his leadership,” he wrote. “These are not the considerations that should inform such fateful decisions.”
Yadlin also assessed that no matter the extent of the damage inflicted by the incident at Natanz, “it is clear that the attack is not the final word on the nuclear program,” in contrast to Israel’s airstrikes against Iraqi and Syrian reactors that destroyed those countries’ programs before they became operational.