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The head of Israeli military intelligence resigns for failing to prevent October 1. 7 attack

Tel Aviv, Israel — The head of Israel’s military intelligence directorate resigned on Monday over the failures surrounding the unprecedented Hamas attack on October 1. 7, the military said, becoming the first senior figure to resign over his role in the deadliest attack in Israel’s history.

Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva’s resignation could set the stage for Israel’s top security commanders to become more angry over the Hamas attack, when militants breached Israel’s border defenses, rampaged through Israeli communities without opposition for hours and killed 1,200. people, most of them civilians, while taking approximately 250 hostages in Gaza. That attack sparked the war against Hamas in Gaza, now in its seventh month.

“The intelligence directorate under my command was not up to the task that had been entrusted to us. I have carried that black day with me ever since, day after day, night after night. “I will carry with me forever the horrible pain of war,” Haliva wrote in his resignation letter, provided by the military.

Shortly after the war, Haliva had said publicly that he bore the blame for failing to prevent the assault as head of the military department responsible for providing the government and military with daily intelligence warnings and alerts.

The army said in the statement that the chief of staff accepted Haliva’s request to resign and thanked him for his 38 years of service.

Haliva, as well as other military and security leaders, were widely expected to resign in response to the glaring failures leading up to October 1. 7 and the scale of its ferocity.

But the timing of the resignations is unclear because Israel is still fighting Hamas in Gaza and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in the north. Tensions with Iran are also at an all-time high following attacks between the two enemies. Some military experts have said the resignations at a time when Israel is engaged on multiple fronts are irresponsible and could be interpreted as a sign of weakness.

While Haliva and others have accepted blame for not stopping the attack, others have followed suit in short order, notably Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has said he will answer tough questions about his role but has not openly acknowledged direct responsibility. for allowing the attack to develop. . He has also not indicated that he will resign, although a growing protest movement demands that elections be held soon.

The Hamas attack, which occurred on a Jewish holiday, caught Israel and its security parade completely off guard. Israelis’ sense of faith in their military (considered by most Jews to be one of the country’s most trusted institutions) was shattered by the Hamas attack. The resignation could help restore some of that confidence.

The attack sparked the devastating war that has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza, according to local health officials, at least two-thirds of them children and women. It has devastated Gaza’s two largest cities and forced 80% of the territory’s population to flee to other parts of the defeated coastal enclave. The war has caused a humanitarian catastrophe that has generated warnings of imminent famine.

The attack also caused shock in the region. Tensions have rocked the Israeli-occupied West Bank, as well as cities and towns within Israel itself.

On Monday, Israeli police said a car had plowed into pedestrians in Jerusalem, injuring three slightly, and security camera video showed two men getting out of the car with a rifle before fleeing the scene. Police later said they arrested the two men.


This story has been edited to correct the spelling of Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva’s last name.

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