First Senior Israeli Official Resigns Over Oct. 7 Attack Failings

First Senior Israeli Official Resigns Over Oct. 7 Attack Failings

The head of Israel’s military intelligence stepped down on Monday in connection with Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks, the first resignation of a senior Israeli official over the failure to prevent the deadliest terror attack in the country’s history.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva would be relieved of his duties and retire once a successor has been appointed. “The intelligence directorate under my command did not live up to the task we were entrusted with,” Haliva wrote in a resignation letter.

Haliva publicly said soon after the rampage that he was partly responsible for failing to thwart the attacks. Hamas militants killed 1,200 people—most of whom were civilians—during the assault, while around 250 more were abducted and taken as hostages in Gaza, according to Israeli figures.

In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to wipe out Hamas and launched the ongoing war in Gaza. More than 34,000 people have been killed over the course of the seven-month conflict, according to Palestinian health officials, who estimate that around two-thirds of the dead are women and children.

In his resignation letter, Haliva spoke of being haunted by the events of Oct. 7 and the subsequent war. “I carry that black day with me ever since, day after day, night after night,” he wrote, according to the Associated Press’ translation of the text. “I will carry the horrible pain of the war with me forever.”

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid hailed Haliva’s resignation as “justified and dignified.”

“It would be appropriate for Prime Minister Netanyahu to do the same,” Lapid wrote on X. Netanyahu has not publicly accepted responsibility for the attacks despite polls indicating that the majority of Israelis believe he should do so.

Although senior security and military officials were expected to go in the wake of the attacks, the timing of when they can do so has been complicated by the continuing severe threats to Israel’s security. In addition to the war against Hamas in Gaza, Israel is also fighting Hezbollah along its northern border with Lebanon, and Iran directly attacked Israel for the first time ever earlier this month with a massive drone and missile barrage.

The New York Times reports that Israel had initially planned to retaliate against Tehran’s April 13 attack with a much bigger counterstrike than that which was eventually launched early Friday, but the operation was dramatically scaled back under diplomatic pressure from President Joe Biden and other allies.

Israeli leaders had discussed attacking multiple military targets across Iran, sources told the Times, which would have been much more likely to spur a large Iranian response. Instead, with Biden and others urging Netanyahu to avoid triggering a full-on regional war, Israel sent “a small number” of missiles and quadcopter attack drones, the sources said.

The mutual attacks stemmed from an April 1 airstrike on the Iranian embassy complex in Damascus, Syria, which killed three senior Iranian military officials and others.

The Daily Beast

Leave a Reply