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The head of Israeli military intelligence resigns over Hamas attack on October 7 | 10 updates on tensions in the Middle East

The Israeli military said on Monday that the head of its intelligence unit has resigned after taking responsibility for the intelligence failures that led to Hamas’ unprecedented attack on October 7 last year.

Israeli Directorate of Military Intelligence Major General Aharon Haliva is the first senior figure to resign over his role in the deadliest attack in Israel’s history, which killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, while about 250 people in Gaza were taken hostage. The October 7 Hamas attack on Israel sparked a war against the army in Gaza, now in its seventh month.

“The Intelligence Directorate under my command did not 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 pain with me forever,” Haliva wrote in his resignation letter.

Here’s everything you need to know:

  • Earlier, the head of Israel’s military intelligence 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 alerts to the government and military.
  • He is the first senior Israeli official to resign over the Hamas attack.
  • It was widely expected that Israel’s military intelligence, as well as other military and security leaders, would resign in response to the glaring failures that led to October 7 and the scale of its atrocity.
  • But the timing of the resignation is unclear as Israel continues to battle Hamas in Gaza and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in the north. Tensions with Iran have also risen following the attack between the two enemies.
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not yet indicated that he will resign. Israel’s prime minister has said he will answer tough questions about his role but has not outright acknowledged direct responsibility for allowing the attack to happen.
  • The attack marked the start of the devastating war between Israel and Hamas, which has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza, according to local health officials.
  • The war between Israel and Hamas 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 Hamas attack on October 7, 2023 took Israel and its 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.
  • In the recent past, there have been increasing protests in Israel calling on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government to take responsibility for the events of October 7 and resign.
  • Some Israeli media have reported that the US is likely to impose sanctions on Israel’s Netzah Yehuda Battalion over its treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank.

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