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Israeli military intelligence chief quits over Hamas-led October 7 attacks

The Israeli military intelligence chief has resigned over his “leadership responsibility” for the Hamas-led October 7 attacks into southern Israel, which led to the killing of 1,200 people and another 250 kidnapped.

Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva is the first senior military figure to step down over the Hamas attacks on October 7, which was the deadliest day for Israel since its founding.

“It was decided that MG Aharon Haliva will end his position and retire from the IDF, once his successor is appointed in an orderly and professional process,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Monday, thanking him for his 38 years of service.

In October, Haliva admitted to an “intelligence failure” by his unit in not alerting the Hamas-led attacks on Israel.

“During my visits to IDF Intelligence bases over the last 11 days, I have repeatedly said that this war began with an intelligence failure. The Intelligence Directorate, under my command, has failed to alert this terror attack launched by Hamas,” Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva said then in a letter to IDF’s intelligence personnel.

“We didn’t fulfil our most important task, and as the head of the Intelligence Directorate, I take full responsibility for this failure.” These were Haliva’s first comments since the attack.

They came after Israel’s top domestic security official took responsibility on for the attacks.

Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar wrote in a statement then that, “despite a series of actions we carried out, we weren’t able to create a sufficient warning that would allow the attack to be thwarted,” adding, “The responsibility is on me,” according to Israel’s Army Radio station.

The attack was widely seen as a major Israeli intelligence failure, with a number of top defense and security officials coming forward in October to take responsibility to some extent for missteps that led to the attacks.

In December, a report from the New York Times claimed Israel obtained Hamas’ plan for the attack more than a year in advance. The report said Israeli officials dismissed the plan as aspirational, and deemed it too complex for the group to carry out. Other outlets, including Israeli newspaper Haaretz, have also reported the claim.

Soon after the attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received sharp public criticism after he accused security chiefs in a later-deleted social media post of failing to warn him about the impending attack.

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