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Israel's military intelligence chief resigns over Hamas attack, calls for probe

He is the first General of the Israeli army's general staff to leave his position due to the failures that led to the massive attack by Hamas.
Last Updated : 22 April 2024, 11:49 IST
Last Updated : 22 April 2024, 11:49 IST

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Jerusalem: Israel's military intelligence chief Major General Aharon Haliva resigned on Monday, taking responsibility for his unit's failures during the unprecedented October 7 Hamas attacks on the Jewish state.

Haliva is the first General of the Israeli army's general staff to leave his position due to the failures that led to the massive attack by the Palestinian militant organisation Hamas and the subsequent war in Gaza.

In his resignation letter written in Hebrew, Haliva said, "The Intelligence Division did not live up to the task we were entrusted with. Throughout my duties, I knew that alongside authority comes heavy responsibility." The General said he would like to 'take responsibility' for what happened on October 7 and promised to do his best to complete as many of the war's goals as possible.

Haliva also called for the establishment of a state investigative committee, 'that can probe and find out in a thorough, in-depth, comprehensive and precise manner all the factors and circumstances that led to the difficult events'.

At the same time, Haliva in the letter expressed his high appreciation for the performance of the Military Intelligence Directorate's personnel in the war.

Confirming Haliva's resignation, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in a statement said, "In a decision with the Chief of Staff and with the approval of the Minister of Defence, Major General Aharon Haliva will conclude his role and retire from the IDF after appointing a successor through an orderly and professional process.

"The Chief of Staff thanked Major General Aharon Haliva for his service over 38 years in the IDF, during which he contributed significantly as a fighter and commander for the security of the state," it said.

Meanwhile, reacting to the MI Chief's resignation, Opposition Yesh Atid Party member, Vladimir Beliak, in a post on X demanded the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The IDF Intelligence Directorate head was wise to resign. A state inquiry committee must be established without delay. The Prime Minister must resign immediately, regardless of the establishment of a state inquiry committee," he wrote.

While several senior officials have accepted responsibility for the failures of October 7 in which about 1,200 Israelis were killed in the terror attack launched by Hamas in Israeli territory and close to 250 people taken hostages, Netanyahu has evaded responsibility, often avoiding a direct answer to such questions raised by scribes.

Quoting a survey by Israel Democracy Institute, The Times of Israel newspaper in a report on Monday said that 62 per cent of Israelis, both Jewish and Arab, believe it is time for those responsible for the failures of October 7 to resign from their positions.

Technology and intelligence, two of the strong pillars of the Israeli security apparatus, collapsed in the crucial test on October 7 and many around the globe have questioned the much-publicised image enjoyed by the Jewish state in these two fields, the report said.

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Published 22 April 2024, 11:49 IST

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