Israeli Military Intelligence Chief Resigns In Connection With October Hamas Attack


Israel’s military announced Monday the resignation of the head of its intelligence directorate in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

Major General Aharon Haliva had already publicly taken responsibility for intelligence failures that led to the attack in which Israel says Hamas militants killed 1,200 people and took about 250 people hostage.

The military released a resignation letter Monday from Haliva and said he would step down and retire as soon as a replacement is appointed.

“The intelligence directorate under my command did not live up to the task we were entrusted with. I carry that black day with me ever since, day after day, night after night. I will carry the pain with me forever,” Haliva said in the letter.

Haliva is the first high-ranking official to resign in connection with the attack.

Israel responded with a campaign in the Gaza Strip that it says is aimed at eliminating Hamas and ensuring the militants cannot carry out another attack on Israel.

The Israeli campaign has left much of Gaza in ruins and forced about three-quarters of Gaza’s population from their homes, according to the United Nations.

Gaza’s health ministry says Israeli military actions have killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and children.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened Sunday, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover, to “deliver additional and painful blows” on Hamas to secure the release of hostages held in Gaza.

“In the coming days we will increase the military and political pressure on Hamas because this is the only way to free our hostages,” Netanyahu said without offering any details.

The Israeli army has said some of the hostages abducted during Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel are being held in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Netanyahu has repeatedly threatened to unleash a military offensive on Rafah, claiming members of the terror group Hamas are holed up there. The threat comes despite calls for restraint from the international community, including from the United States — Israel’s main ally.

International concern has focused on the safety of Palestinian civilians in Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s population has sought shelter after fleeing Israeli military assaults in other parts of Gaza.

West Bank

Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinians Sunday in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli military said the three Palestinians attacked Israeli soldiers in two different locations. In the first incident, at a junction near the Palestinian city of Hebron, Israeli troops were shot at by one man, while another attempted to stab them, before the military opened fire on both individuals. 

In the second incident, at a checkpoint farther north in the West Bank, the military said a woman tried to stab soldiers who then responded with live fire.

Violence in the West Bank has escalated since the Israel-Hamas war started, with Israel’s frequent army raids on militant groups, rampages by Jewish settlers in Palestinian villages, and deadly Palestinian street ambushes on Israeli soldiers.

Netanyahu said Sunday he would fight sanctions being imposed on any Israeli military units for alleged rights violations in the West Bank, after media reports said Washington was planning such a step.

Axios news site reported Saturday that Washington was planning to impose sanctions on Israel’s Netzah Yehuda battalion, which has operated in the occupied West Bank, although the Israeli military said it was not aware of any such measures.

On Friday, the United States announced a series of sanctions against organizations funding attacks by extremist Israeli settlers on Palestinians in the West Bank. This is the latest sign of growing U.S. frustration with the policies of Netanyahu, whose coalition government relies on settler parties.


The VOA is the Voice of America

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