The head of Israel’s military intelligence resigns over the October 7 failures

The head of Israel’s military intelligence has resigned after accepting responsibility for the failures that enabled the devastating Hamas-led attack on Israel on October 7, the military said on Monday.

Major General Aharon Haliva, a 38-year army veteran, was among a number of senior Israeli commanders who said they failed to foresee and prevent the deadliest attack in Israel’s history.

“The intelligence department under my command failed to fulfill the task entrusted to us. I have carried that black day with me ever since,” he said in a resignation letter released by the army.

He will remain in office until a successor is appointed. Israeli media and commentators expect more resignations once the main military campaign in Gaza is concluded.

The October 7 attack severely damaged the reputation of Israel’s military and intelligence services, which were previously considered virtually unbeatable by armed Palestinian groups such as Hamas.

In the early morning hours, after intense rocket fire, thousands of fighters from Hamas and other groups broke through security barriers around Gaza, catching Israeli forces by surprise and rampaging through communities in southern Israel.

The attack killed some 1,200 Israelis and foreigners, most of them civilians, and captured about 250 in Gaza, where 133 hostages remain, according to Israeli figures.

The head of the armed forces, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, and the head of the Shin Bet domestic intelligence service, Ronen Bar, both accepted responsibility in the aftermath of the attack but have remained as the war in Gaza raged.

By contrast, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far not accepted responsibility for the October 7 attack, although surveys show most Israelis blame him for not doing enough to prevent or defend against it.

In response to the attack, Israel launched an offensive against Gaza, which has so far killed more than 34,000 Palestinians and left the densely populated enclave in ruins, according to local health authorities.