Trump says Netanyahu culpable for Hamas massacre: 'I had a bad experience with Bibi'

Former US president and current candidate tells Time Magazine the October 7 attack happened on Netanyahu's watch and doesn't rule out halting military aid to Israel
Former U.S. president Donald Trump criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday in an interview with Time Magazine. Speaking about Netanyahu and Hamas’ October 7 attack, Trump said: “It happened on his watch.”
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דונלד טראמפ ובנימין נתניהו
דונלד טראמפ ובנימין נתניהו
Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump
(Photo: EPA)
Trump added, “I had a bad experience with Bibi [Netanyahu’s nickname],” alleging that the assassination of Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani in 2020 was supposed to be a joint U.S.-Israel operation which Netanyahu pulled out of two days before it was carried out by American forces in Iraq. “That was something I never forgot,” he said.
When asked whether he would consider withholding U.S. military aid to Israel to push it toward ending the war in Gaza, Trump did not confirm it, but he didn't rule it out either. Trump has already called to "end the war" in recent months and has criticized the way it was conducted, and criticized Israel’s public diplomacy efforts.
In addition to his criticism, Trump noted in the interview that if elected for a second time he would stand by Israel in a possible conflict against Iran, a scenario that has already materialized in the attack on Israel two weeks ago. "If they attack Israel, yes, we would be there," he said.
Trump, who promoted a peace plan based on a two-state solution during his first term, now casts doubt on the ability of a Palestinian state to exist alongside Israel peacefully. "There was a time when I thought two-state could work,” he says. “Now I think two-state is going to be very, very tough," he said.
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נשיא ארה"ב לשעבר דונלד טראמפ על שער מגזין טיים
נשיא ארה"ב לשעבר דונלד טראמפ על שער מגזין טיים
(Photo: Time Magazine)
Trump has held a grudge against Netanyahu since November 2020 when the prime minister called to congratulate U.S. President Joe Biden on his victory in the elections which Trump claimed were fraudulent. Since the end of his presidency, Trump has made several harsh statements about Netanyahu, and had even cursed him in one of the interviews.
In October 2023, days after the Hamas' attack, Trump criticized Israel in light of its intelligence and operational failures. He also attacked Netanyahu at the time, saying he was "hurt very badly" by the attack. "He was not prepared and Israel was not prepared. Thousands of people knew about it and they let this slip by,” Trump alleged.
Trump now repeatedly claims the events of October 7 wouldn’t have happened if he were in office, and said Biden “dumped Israel” back in March. He also called on Netanyahu to end the war and demanded to "finish it up." Trump added at the time: "We need peace in the world. We were close to it. We made the Abraham Accords, I bet you I would’ve had Iran in the Abraham Accords.”
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