Former Top U.S. General: Hamas’ Terror Attack On Israel ‘Far Worse Than 9/11’ | JP

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Retired Gen. David Petraeus, who led the U.S.’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said in an interview that the recent terrorist attacks in Israel were worse than the terror attacks that hit the U.S. on September 11, 2001.

Petraeus, the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said that the attacks — which killed at least 1,400 Israelis and wounded 3,000+ more — were “far worse than 9/11” when adjusted for the difference in population size.

“This is the equivalent of the U.S. having experienced over 40,000 losses, rather than the 3,000 terrible losses that we sustained in the attacks of 9/11,” he said.

He said that Israel’s ground offensive inside Gaza to root out Hamas, the terror group that carried out the attacks, would be a “very, very tough fight.”

“I almost can’t imagine a more challenging contextual set of circumstances here than what they face,” he told CBS News. “There are tunnels; there will be rooms that will have improvised explosive devices. You have to clear every building, every floor, every room, every basement, every tunnel. Civilian losses are inevitable, and tough Israeli losses lie ahead as well.”

He said that he was surprised by how sophisticated the attack was and even more surprised that no intelligence agencies picked up on it.

“This is a very substantial operation, and the planning of it alone would have been very considerable; then, the training and equipping and positioning of forces, then the actual conduct of it,” he said. “That all of that could take place and not spark much increased military readiness is really quite stunning.”

He said that the only way Hamas was able to carry out the attacks without was through “dramatic improvement” in their “operational security.”

“Very, very creative use of these munitions and capabilities to degrade dramatically, in some cases knock out, the Israeli ability to see what is going around this quite formidable iron fence that was established,” he said.

When asked if Hamas’ objective was simply to just “kill Jews,” Petraeus responded: “That’s always [their] objective. Destroy Israel.”

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