December 10, 2023

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Israel thought Trump decision to assassinate Soleimani was ‘dangerous and destabilising’, …

Israel viewed Donald Trump’s decision to assassinate Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike as “dangerous and destabilising”, according to US officials.

The former president claimed this week that Israel had backed out the night before the operation to take out Soleimani in January 2020.

Mr Trump told supporters at an event in West Palm Beach, Florida, that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “let us down” and called it “a very terrible thing.”

But US officials familiar with the planning of the operation told NBC News that Mr Trump gave a false account of Israel’s role in the killing.

“They were never on board with it,” a former senior White House official said of Israel. ”They always thought it was a dangerous and destabilising idea.”

Soleimani headed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force and helped orchestrate Iran’s relationships with foreign paramilitary groups. He was killed in a US drone strike at the Baghdad airport in January 2020.

Israeli intelligence helped confirm the details of Soleimani’s flight from Damascus to Baghdad, NBC News reported at the time.

File – Gen. Qassem Soleimani in picture taken on September 14, 2013

(ISNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Trump’s latest comments came as he criticised Mr Netanyahu in the wake of the bloody Hamas attack on Israel, and the retaliatory airstrikes that have followed.

“Israel was going to do this with us, and it was being planned and working on it for months,” Mr Trump said on Wednesday of the Soleimani assassination.

“We had everything all set to go, and the night before it happened, I got a call that Israel will not be participating in this attack.

“Nobody’s heard this story before,” Trump said. “They didn’t tell us why.”

Former US President and 2024 Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump holds a campaign event at Club 47 USA in West Palm Beach, Florida, on October 11, 2023.

(AFP via Getty Images)

“I’ll never forget that Bibi Netanyahu let us down,” he said.

“We were disappointed by that. Very disappointed,” he said. “But we did the job ourselves, with absolute precision … and then Bibi tried to take credit for it.”

At least 1,300 people were killed in the Hamas terror attacks on 7 October, including 260 people at a music festival near kibbutz Re’im.

More than 2,000 people have been killed in Hamas-controlled Gaza since Israel launched retaliatory airstrikes, the Palestinian health ministry said on Saturday.

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