The head of Israel’s military intelligence, Aharon Haliva, resigns over Hamas attack

Major General Aharon Haliva, head of the Israeli army’s intelligence department, will leave his post and retire, he said in a statement on Monday, citing Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel as a driving force.

Haliva is the first general of the IDF staff to leave his position due to the failures that led to the attack and the war in Gaza, Israeli media reported. The surprise attack killed an estimated 1,200 people, the largest loss of life in a single day in the country’s history. Militants also took 253 hostages back to Gaza.

“The Directorate of Military Intelligence under my command did not meet our mission,” Haliva said in a letter shared by the IDF. “Since then, I have carried that black day with me day and night. I will live with the terrible pain of war every day.”

For more than a year, Hamas has strategically planned its attack on Israel, following battle plans based on open source material, Israeli intelligence officials said in December.

The attack stunned Israelis and immediately raised questions about the country’s intelligence and defense capabilities. The Washington Post reported last year that despite information emerging in August that an attack was imminent, warnings were dismissed and communities on the Israeli side of the border were never notified of a threat.

Monday’s guilty plea is not new for Haliva, who took responsibility for the intelligence failures that led to the attack just 10 days after the Hamas attack.

“During all my visits to units of the Military Intelligence Directorate over the past eleven days, I have emphasized that the beginning of the war was a failure of the intelligence services,” Haliva said in October, adding that the Directorate of Military Intelligence, under its order, “failed to warn of the terrorist attack.”

Lior Soroka contributed to this report.