Updated Apr 22, 2024 - World

Israeli military intelligence chief resigns, citing Oct. 7 failures

Maj. Gen. Haliva stands in Gaza in a khaki-green military uniform with a large black firearm slung over his shoulder as he speaks with another soldier.

Maj. General Aharon Haliva, left, in Gaza on Dec. 15th, 2023. Photo: IDF handout

The head of Israeli military intelligence on Monday announced his resignation more than six months after the massive intelligence failure preceding Hamas' Oct. 7 attack.

Why it matters: Major General Aharon Haliva is the first senior Israeli Defense Forces officer and high-level government official to resign as a result of its failure to prevent Hamas' attack, which killed more than 1,200 Israelis and led to another 240 being taken hostage.

  • Haliva's resignation is expected to expedite the resignations of other senior officials in the IDF, as well as the Shin Bet security agency and the political echelon.

What they're saying: In his resignation letter delivered to IDF chief of staff Gen. Herzi Halevi on Monday, Haliva wrote that the military intelligence branch under his command didn't fulfill its mission.

  • Haliva wrote that he's taking responsibility for the failure in general — but didn't specify what his failures were or what mistakes he made.
  • "I am convinced that for the sake of the state of Israel and for the Israeli people and the next generations, it will be the right thing to do to form a national commission of inquiry that will be able to investigate and thoroughly and comprehensively determine all the reasons and circumstances that led to these terrible events," he wrote in Hebrew.
  • Haliva said he will stay in office until his successor is appointed and after an orderly transition process.

The latest: Major General Yehuda Fuchs, commander of the IDF Central Command, also notified the IDF chief of staff on Monday of his intention to end his service at the end of his three-year term in August.

  • Fuchs, who is in charge of the West Bank, wasn't directly involved in the Oct. 7 failure.

Flashback: Haliva was one of the top officials who claimed after the May 2021 war in Gaza that Hamas had been deterred and didn't want another war with Israel for the foreseeable future.

  • Although Israeli military intelligence managed to get the Hamas war plans more than a year before the attack, Haliva and other senior intelligence officials treated them as "aspirational," and didn't order the military intelligence to take further action or build an early warning model that would help prevent an attack.

The big picture: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the only senior official who still hasn't taken responsibility for the failures surrounding Oct. 7.

  • Netanyahu and his supporters in the Israeli media have been focusing their criticism over the last six months on Haliva and other senior intelligence and security officials in an attempt to present the failure as being mostly a military one.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to say that Maj. Gen Fuchs is also planning to step down.

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