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22 Apr, 2024 14:04

Israel’s top military spy quits over Hamas intelligence failure

General Aharon Haliva’s resignation is expected to be the first among many of the Jewish state’s top security brass after the October 7 attack
Israel’s top military spy quits over Hamas intelligence failure

The head of Israel’s military intelligence agency, Major General Aharon Haliva, has stepped down over the failure of his department to prevent the October 7 Hamas attack, the Jewish state’s military announced on Monday.  

Haliva’s resignation is expected to be the first of many among Israel’s top military brass following the deadly assault last year, which saw Palestinian militants break through border defenses in Gaza, killing over 1,100 people on Israeli territory and taking some 250 hostages. The Jewish state has since launched a relentless assault on Gaza, vowing to eliminate Hamas.  

“The intelligence directorate under my command did not live up to the task we were entrusted with. 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,” Haliva wrote in his resignation letter.  

Following the October 7 attack, Haliva repeatedly acknowledged his blame in failing to prevent the assault, as did a number of other top Israeli military officials. 

His resignation was met with approval from Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid, who called it “justified and dignified.” He further claimed that it would be “appropriate” for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to similarly step down. 

The Israeli leader has so far refused to accept direct responsibility for allowing the attack to unfold and has not indicated any intent to voluntarily resign over the failure. He has insisted that all investigations into accountability should be saved for when the war with Hamas is over. 

“This debacle will be investigated. Everyone will have to give answers, including me,” Netanyahu said following the attack. “The only thing that I intend to have resign is Hamas. We’re going to resign them to the dustbin of history.” 

So far, Gaza health authorities have estimated that more than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed amid Israel’s siege of the enclave, which has included extensive bombardment as well as a ground incursion. 

Despite international criticism of Israel’s response, Netanyahu vowed over the weekend to increase military and diplomatic pressure on Hamas to free the remaining hostages, while threatening to “land additional and painful blows” against the Palestinian militants.