TEL AVIV (Agencies): In a public letter, 26 former senior Israeli security officials and 17 senior civil field officials, including three Nobel laureates, have demanded the removal of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of the Israeli government. The call follows what they perceive as failures in the war in Gaza, and they consider Netanyahu unqualified to lead Israel, claiming his hands are stained with Israeli blood.

The letter, which will also be published in the US, was initiated by Jeremy Levin, director general of the Teva Pharmaceutical Company, who holds dual Israeli and US citizenship. It was addressed to Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana but is primarily directed at the US political arena.

Prominent signatories include former ministers, chiefs of staff in the Israeli army, and former heads of intelligence services such as Moshe Yaalon, Dan Halutz, Tamir Pardo, Nadav Argaman, Assaf Hefetz, and Yaakov Peri. They accuse Netanyahu of destroying democracy and bearing primary responsibility for the brutal massacre of over 1,200 Israelis and others, the injury of over 4,500, and the kidnapping of more than 230 individuals, over 130 of whom are still held in Hamas captivity.

The signatories also argue that Netanyahu is fundamentally and morally incompetent to lead Israel into war and poses a direct and existential threat to the State of Israel. They warn of the harm that Netanyahu is causing to relations with the US and believe that Netanyahu, and what he symbolizes, is central to US debates, with hostility towards him in internal US discourse extending beyond discussions of the war.

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