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HomeWorldTop Israeli military intelligence official resigns on 7 Oct

Top Israeli military intelligence official resigns on 7 Oct

  • Israeli military intelligence head takes responsibility for Hamas attack
  • Major General Aharon Haliva to retire post-successor selection
  • Calls for inquiry into intelligence lapses preceding deadly attack

In a letter of resignation, the head of intelligence for the Israeli military admitted blame for the shortcomings that preceded the October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel.

According to the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Major General Aharon Haliva will retire after his successor is selected.

In a letter, he admitted that his intelligence division “fell short of the responsibility placed upon us.”

He is the first high-ranking official to resign in response to the deadliest attack in the history of Israel.

Multiple warnings were disregarded or overlooked by the Israeli military and intelligence officials before the day in question when hundreds of Hamas gunmen breached the Gaza border fence and attacked Israeli communities, military bases, and a music festival in the vicinity.

According to Israeli tally sheets, approximately 1,200 Israelis and foreigners, the majority of whom were civilians, were slain, and 253 others were returned to Gaza as hostages.

In retaliation, Israel initiated its most intense conflict to date in Gaza, targeting the abolition of Hamas and the liberation of the hostages.

The conflict has claimed the lives of over 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza, the majority of whom are women and children, according to the health ministry of Hamas, which operates in the territory.

According to a statement released by the IDF on Monday, Major General Haliva “requested the termination of his position in light of his leadership responsibilities as the head of the intelligence directorate during the October 7 events.”

The general stated in his resignation letter: “Since that dark day, it has remained in my heart, present and past, day and night. I will eternally bear the agonizing torment of the war.”

Furthermore, he advocated for creating a state commission of inquiry “capable of conducting a comprehensive, detailed, exhaustive, and precise investigation into all the factors and conditions that contributed to the tumultuous events.”

He continued, “Every action I took during my time in the IDF was for the benefit of the Israeli people and the State of Israel.”

The resignation of Major General Haliva was expected, considering his public declaration ten days following the attack that he accepted complete accountability for the intelligence deficiencies within his directorate.

Conversely, it is anticipated that his departure will be accompanied by additional resignations from senior Israeli military and intelligence commanders. Other officials’ statements acknowledging mistakes and omissions before October 7 support this.

Ronen Bar, the director of the Shin Bet security service, and IDF chief of staff Lt Gen Herzi Halevi have both accepted responsibility for failing to defend Israelis while continuing to serve in the Gaza Strip conflict.

Additionally, the news on Monday could increase the strain on Benjamin Netanyahu, the veteran Israeli prime minister.

As of now, Mr. Netanyahu has declined to accept responsibility for any difficult inquiries regarding his position and has instead attempted to shift the blame onto his security officials.

He has stated that a comprehensive investigation should commence once the ceasefire in Gaza has concluded.

Yair Lapid, the leader of the opposition, stated on X (previously Twitter) that Major General Haliva’s resignation was “honorable and justifiable” but that Netanyahu “should have followed suit.”

The prime minister expressed regret in a video statement published on Sunday that the 133 individuals who are still detained in Gaza would be unable to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover with their families around the Seder table.

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He stated that their and their families’ anguish “devastates our hearts and only reinforces our determination to retrieve them.”

He asserted that Hamas had “imposed more stringent requirements” in exchange for the liberation of the hostages and threatened to deliver “further devastating blows” in retaliation.

He further stated that increasing diplomatic and military pressure on Hamas in the coming days is the only viable course of action to liberate our detainees and secure our victory.

Mr. Netanyahu has stated on multiple occasions that Israeli forces are planning to commence an operation in the southern city of Rafah, although he did not specify the subsequent actions.

An all-out assault on Rafah, where 1.5 million displaced Palestinians are seeking refuge, could have disastrous results, according to the United States and the United Nations.

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