Israel’s Military Intelligence Chief to Resign Over Oct 7 Attack

With his resignation, Israeli military intelligence commander Major General Aharon Haliva claimed responsibility for the errors leading up to the 7 October assault on Israel by Hamas. Haliva will resign after his replacement is chosen, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The assault was the bloodiest in Israel’s history, and Haliva was the first senior person to stand down over it.

On that particular day, hundreds of Hamas militants crossed into Gaza and opened fire on Israeli towns, bases, and a music festival. Israeli intelligence and military personnel either failed to notice or disregarded many warnings. A total of 253 people were captured and sent to Gaza as prisoners, while over 1,200 Israelis and foreigners—the majority of whom were civilians—were slain. In response, Israel launched its bloodiest war on Gaza to date, with the stated goals of ousting Hamas and liberating the captives. In Gaza alone, the fighting has claimed the lives of over 34,000 Palestinians, according to the health ministry, which Hamas oversees.

Attacked on a Jewish holiday, Israel and its lauded security apparatus were utterly taken aback by the Hamas assault. The resignation may pave the way for confidence to be restored to some extent. The news was made just as Jews all across the globe were getting ready to celebrate Passover, a weeklong celebration that starts on Monday night and commemorates the ancient escape of Jews from Egypt. Passover this year will likely be more solemn than usual due to the approximately 130 hostages being held in Gaza. Many Israelis find it difficult to imagine celebrating liberation while so many people are still being kept prisoner.

Retaliatory attacks were launched against Hezbollah on Monday after the group launched dozens of missiles into northern Israel. The Israeli military said that one of its locations was targeted by 35 rockets, but thankfully, no deaths were reported. The missile stated it hit the rockets’ launch pads. The border between the two sides has been the site of almost daily gunfire since the conflict in Gaza broke out.

It was expected that Maj Gen Haliva would retire when he admitted full responsibility for his directorate’s intelligence shortcomings ten days after the assault. However, his retirement is likely to be followed by more resignations among Israel’s top intelligence and military leaders; other officials have acknowledged mistakes and oversights before October 7th.