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The head of Israel’s military intelligence resigns over his role in failing to prevent the October 7 attack

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The head of Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence resigned Monday over the failures surrounding Hamas’ unprecedented Oct. 7 attack, the military said. Israel’s history.

Major Gen. Aharon HalivaIsrael’s resignation could pave the way for more fallout from Israel’s top security force over the Hamas attack, when militants burst through Israeli border defenses, rampaging through Israeli communities unchallenged for hours and killing 1,200 people, most of them civilians, while killing about brought 250 hostages. to Gaza. That attack marked the start of the war against Hamas in Gaza, now in its seventh month.

“The Intelligence Directorate under my command has failed to fulfill the task entrusted to us. Since then I have carried that black day with me, day after day, night after night. I will carry the terrible pain of the war with me forever,” Haliva wrote in his resignation letter, which was provided by the army.

Shortly after the war, Haliva had said publicly that he took the blame for failing to prevent the attack as head of the military department responsible for providing intelligence alerts and daily warnings to the government and military.

The army said in the statement that the military chief of staff accepted Haliva’s request to resign and thanked him for his 38 years of service.

It was widely expected that Haliva, like other military and security leaders, would resign in response to the glaring failures in the run-up to October 7 and the extent of its brutality.

But the timing of the resignation is unclear as Israel continues its fight against Hamas in Gaza and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in the north. Tensions with Iran have also risen following the attacks between the two enemies. Some military experts have said that stepping down at a time when Israel is involved on multiple fronts is irresponsible and could be interpreted as a sign of weakness.

While Haliva and others have taken the blame for failing to stop the attack, others have stopped doing so abruptly, most notably Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has said he will answer tough questions about his role but will not has bluntly acknowledged direct responsibility for allowing the attack to take place. . He has also not indicated that he will resign, although a growing protest movement is demanding that elections be held soon.

The Hamas attack, which took place on a Jewish holiday, caught Israel and its vaunted security establishment completely off guard. Israelis’ confidence in their military – seen by most Jews as one of the country’s most trusted institutions – was shattered by Hamas’ attack. The resignation could help restore some of that trust.

The attack marked the start of the devastating war that local health officials say has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza, at least two-thirds of them children and women. It has devastated Gaza’s two largest cities and prompted 80% of the territory’s population to flee to other parts of the besieged coastal enclave. The war has led to a humanitarian catastrophe that has led to warnings of an impending famine.

The attack also sent shockwaves through the region. The tensions have roiled the Israeli-occupied West Bank, as well as cities and towns in Israel itself.

On Monday, Israeli police said a car rammed into pedestrians in Jerusalem, slightly injuring three people. Security camera footage showed two men getting out of the car with a gun before fleeing the scene. Police later said they had arrested the two men.

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This story has been edited to correct the spelling of Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva’s last name.