Israeli military intelligence head to resign over Oct. 7 Hamas attacks

Israel’s military intelligence chief offered to resign Monday and is expected to formally step down eventually for his leadership role during the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks that killed more than 1,100 people, which has been criticized as a major Israeli intelligence failure.

Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, the head of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate, requested to resign in coordination with the Israeli Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi. The decision was also approved by Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant, according to a Telegram post from the Israeli military.

Haliva will formally resign once a successor is appointed, the military said.

Oct. 7 was the deadliest event for the Jewish people since the Holocaust and considered the worst intelligence failure in Israeli history, a country that had not been surprised by a sudden invasion or major attack since the Yom Kippur war of 1973.

Hamas fighters breached several checkpoints and border areas separating Gaza from Israel and invaded the southern part of the country, overwhelming military bases and running rampant across communities for hours.

Since the attacks, Israel has largely focused on the war against Palestinian militant group Hamas — in which Israel has killed more than 34,000 people in Gaza — but has promised to investigate more fully what happened that day once the dust settles.

Haliva would be the most senior Israeli official to resign over the Oct. 7 attacks, which also saw Hamas fighters kidnap some 250 people, with around 130 hostages still left in Gaza.

In his letter, Haliva said he carried a “heavy responsibility” as the head of military intelligence but acknowledged the division under his command “did not live up to the task” on Oct. 7.

“I carry that black day with me ever since, day after day, night after night. I will carry the pain with me forever,” he wrote.

Haliva’s announcement puts more pressure on the Israeli government to launch a more formal inquiry into the Oct. 7 attacks despite the ongoing war in Gaza, which has lasted for more than six months and could continue until the end of the year or longer.

Haliva called for an official investigative committee to review in a “comprehensive” manner what happened on Oct. 7.

Until his replacement is announced, Haliva said he would continue to serve his country and “do everything for the defeat of Hamas and those who want to harm us and the return of all the abducted, captives and missing people to their homes and lands.”

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