The head of Israel’s Military Intelligence Resigned over October 7

The head of intelligence for the Israeli military has resigned, claiming responsibility for the mistakes made prior to Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel.

Major General Aharon Haliva of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that he would retire after a successor was chosen.

His intelligence directorate, he admitted in a letter, “did not live up to the task we were entrusted with”.

The incident was the bloodiest in Israel’s history, and he is the first high-ranking official to resign in response.

A music festival, military installations, and neighboring Israeli communities were attacked by hundreds of Hamas gunmen that day after Israeli military and intelligence leaders disregarded or overlooked several warnings.

According to Israeli counts, some 1,200 Israelis and foreigners—mostly civilians—were killed, while 253 others were taken as hostages back to Gaza.

In response, Israel declared war on Gaza, the hardest war it had ever waged, with the intention of eliminating Hamas and liberating the prisoners.

The fighting has claimed the lives of over 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza, the most of them women and children, according to the health ministry operated by Hamas.

Maj Gen Haliva “requested to end his position, following his leadership responsibility as the head of the intelligence directorate for the events of 7 October,” according to a statement released by the IDF on Monday.

“I carry that black day with me ever since, day after day, night after night,” the general stated in his resignation letter. I shall always be burdened by the terrible suffering caused by the war.”

A state commission of investigation “that can investigate and find out in a thorough, in-depth, comprehensive and precise manner all the factors and circumstances that led to the difficult events” was another initiative he urged for to be established.

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“Everything I did during my service in the IDF was for the sake of the people of Israel and the State of Israel,” he stated.

Since Maj Gen Haliva had declared ten days after the attack that he was solely responsible for his directorate’s intelligence failings, it was expected that he would resign.

But more resignations from Israel’s top military and intelligence officers are anticipated to come after his departure, as other officials have acknowledged mistakes and oversights in the period leading up to October 7.

Although they have accepted responsibility for their failure to safeguard Israelis, Lt Gen Herzi Halevi, the chief of staff of the IDF, and Ronen Bar, the director of the Shin Bet security organization, have chosen to remain in Gaza for the duration of the conflict.

The revelation from Monday might also put more strain on Benjamin Netanyahu, the seasoned Israeli prime minister.

Mr. Netanyahu has so far avoided taking accountability and has merely stated that he will respond to pointed inquiries about his own involvement while attempting to shift the blame onto his security officers.

He has stated that a thorough investigation has to wait till the Gaza War is concluded.

The leader of the opposition, Yair Lapid, stated on X (previously Twitter) that while Maj Gen Haliva’s resignation was “justified and honorable,” Mr. Netanyahu “should have done the same.”

The prime minister bemoaned in a video address on Sunday that the 133 prisoners still detained in Gaza would not be celebrating the Jewish holiday of Passover with their loved ones around the Seder table.

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“Their suffering and the suffering of their families rends our heart and only strengthens our resolve to bring them back,” he stated.

He said that in order to get a hostage release agreement, Hamas had “hardened its conditions” and he would “strike it with additional painful blows” in retaliation.

“In the coming days, we will increase the military and diplomatic pressure on Hamas because this is the only way to free our hostages and achieve our victory,” he stated.

Although Mr. Netanyahu did not state what would happen next, he has stated on several occasions that Israeli soldiers want to begin operations in the southern city of Rafah.

An all-out attack on Rafah, the refuge for 1.5 million Palestinian refugees, could have disastrous effects, the US and UN have warned.

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