Israeli Military Intel Chief Resigns for Failing to Prevent Oct. 7 Hamas Massacre

Israeli Military Intel Chief Resigns for Failing to Prevent Oct. 7 Hamas Massacre
The abandoned site of the weekend attack of the Supernova desert music Festival by Hamas terrorists near Kibbutz Reim in the Negev desert in southern Israel, in this picture taken on Oct. 10, 2023. (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli military’s top intelligence officer has resigned over his role in failing to prevent last October’s surprise attack on Israel.

Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, who served the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for 38 years, will step down as the chief of its intelligence arm and retire. He is the first senior Israeli official to take responsibility for failures surrounding the events of Oct. 7, during which thousands of Hamas-led terrorists broke through the high-tech security barriers around Gaza to launch a killing and kidnapping spree through the Israeli communities around the enclave.

The Israeli government says that 1,200 of its citizens and foreigners died in the massacre, most of them civilians. Around 250 were abducted and brought to Hamas-controlled Gaza, where 133 remain as hostages.

“The intelligence directorate under my command did not live up to the task we were entrusted with,” Mr. Haliva wrote in a resignation letter released by the military on Monday. “I carry that black day with me ever since, day after day, night after night. I will carry the horrible pain of the war with me forever.”

For now, he will remain in his post while the IDF looks for a replacement. With the approval of Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, the IDF said in a statement that the commander “will end his position and retire” from the service “once his successor is appointed in an orderly and professional process.”

Until his replacement is announced, Mr. Haliva said he would “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.”

In his resignation letter, Mr. Haliva also voiced support for establishing a commission of inquiry to “be able to investigate and find out in a thorough, in-depth, comprehensive and precise manner all the factors and circumstances that led to the grave events.”

“Everything I did during my service in the IDF was for the sake of the people of Israel and the State of Israel,” he added.

Mr. Haliva is currently involved in the military’s ongoing internal investigations of its operational failures in the days leading up to the Hamas invasion. The probe was launched in February by the IDF’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, and is due to be presented in June.

On Oct. 7, he was on vacation in the Israeli resort town of Eilat and was reportedly warned of suspicious Hamas activity hours before the attack. However, his department could not determine whether it was a drill or an imminent strategic operation against Israel, and advised the government to seek additional intelligence.

Ten days after the attack, Mr. Haliva announced that he took the blame for not being able to provide the government and the military with timely warnings.

“The Military Intelligence Directorate, under my command, failed to warn of the terror attack carried out by Hamas,” he said on Oct. 17. “We failed in our most important mission, and as the head of the Military Intelligence Directorate, I bear full responsibility for the failure.”

Israeli opposition leader and former prime minister Yair Lapid welcomed the resignation, saying it was “justified and dignified.” He called for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to follow the example.

“It would be appropriate for Prime Minister Netanyahu to do the same,” he wrote on social media platform X.

Mr. Haliva’s resignation also comes as the IDF issues an alert for a potential attack during the Passover holiday, stating that it will continue operational activities and maintain full readiness in all areas.

This year’s Passover observances begin on April 22. It is the first major Jewish holiday since the festival of Simchat Torah on Oct. 7, the day of the Hamas attack that reignited the Gaza war.

From The Epoch Times

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