Israeli Military Intelligence Chief Resigns Over Failure to Prevent Deadly Hamas Assault

Resignation of Israeli military intelligence chief over failure to prevent deadly Hamas attack in Sderot, sparking 6-month Gaza war with catastrophic consequences.

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Muthana Al-Najjar
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Israeli Military Intelligence Chief Resigns Over Failure to Prevent Deadly Hamas Assault

Israeli Military Intelligence Chief Resigns Over Failure to Prevent Deadly Hamas Assault

Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, the head of Israeli military intelligence, resigned on Monday over the shortcomings surrounding Hamas' unprecedented assault on the Israeli town of Sderot on October 7, 2023. The assault killed 1,200 civilians and captured 250 people, igniting a six-month conflict in Gaza.

In his resignation letter, Haliva acknowledged that the intelligence directorate under his command failed to thwart the assault, which caught Israel's security establishment entirely off guard. "The intelligence directorate under my command did not live up to the task we were entrusted with," Haliva wrote. "I will carry the horrible pain of the war with me forever."

The assault was the deadliest attack in Israel's history, with Hamas militants breaching border defenses and rampaging through Israeli communities unchallenged for hours. It shattered Israelis' sense of faith in their military and raised questions about the country's intelligence and defense capabilities.

Why this matters: Haliva's resignation sets the stage for further fallout among Israel's top security brass over the shortcomings that led to the devastating assault. It also highlights the ongoing tensions and conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which have escalated into a full-scale war with catastrophic humanitarian consequences.

While Haliva and others have accepted blame for the intelligence shortcomings, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not outright acknowledged direct responsibility for allowing the assault to unfold. The war sparked by the October 7 attack has killed over 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza, with at least two-thirds of the dead being children and women, and driven 80% of the territory's population from their homes.

Haliva's resignation comes as Jews around the world prepare to celebrate Passover, with roughly 130 people still held captive by Hamas in Gaza, casting a somber tone over the holiday. The assault has also sent shockwaves through the region, with tensions rocking the Israeli-occupied West Bank and cities within Israel itself. A growing protest movement in Israel is now demanding early elections and accountability for the security shortcomings that led to the deadly attack and subsequent war.

Key Takeaways

  • Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, head of Israeli military intelligence, resigned over failure to prevent Hamas attack.
  • The October 7, 2023 Hamas assault on Sderot killed 1,200 civilians and captured 250 people, sparking 6-month Gaza war.
  • The attack shattered Israelis' faith in their military and raised questions about intelligence and defense capabilities.
  • The war killed over 34,000 Palestinians, with two-thirds being children and women, and displaced 80% of Gaza.
  • Haliva's resignation comes as Jews prepare for Passover, with 130 Israelis still held captive by Hamas in Gaza.