former israeli minister apologizes for role in polarizing country before hamas attack

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Galit Distel Atbaryan, a parliament member who previously served in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet, apologized Sunday for contributing to the internal strife in Israel that preceded the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip.

Distel Atbaryan statement marks a rare admission of responsibility from a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party for sowing division ahead of the attack, according to The Associated Press.

The former public diplomacy minister told Channel 13 TV that she “sinned against” the democratic, secular public and, as a result, “caused pain” for Israelis as well as fear.

“And I am sorry for this,” she said.

The Hamas assault, which led to an estimated 1,200 deaths and 240 kidnappings, has triggered a devastating war that has raged for nearly three months. An estimated 21,600 Palestinians across the Gaza Strip have been killed since Oct. 7, with nearly 2 million survivors forced from their homes, according to The Guardian.

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