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The head of Israeli military intelligence resigns over his failure to prevent a Hamas attack

The head of Israeli military intelligence resigns over his failure to prevent a Hamas attack

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The head of Israel's military intelligence resigned Monday over a case failure Ocean The unprecedented Hamas attack on October 7The army said, becoming the first senior figure to resign over his role in the deadliest attack in Israel's history.

Maj. Gen. Aharon Haleva's decision may pave the way for more resignations among Israel's top security officers over the Hamas attack, when militants stormed Israeli border defenses, rampaged unchallenged into Israeli communities for hours and killed 1,200 people, most of them civilians, while capturing nearly 1,200 others. Most of them are civilians. 250 hostages to Gaza This attack led to the shooting of The war against Hamas in GazaNow in his seventh month

“The Intelligence Directorate under my command did not live up to the mission entrusted to us. I have carried that black day with me ever since, day after day, night after night. “I will carry with me the terrible pain of war forever,” Haliva wrote in his resignation letter submitted by the army.

Haleva, along with other military and security leaders, was widely expected to resign in response to the glaring failures leading up to October 7 and the scale of the ferocity of that attack.

But the timing of the resignations was not clear because Israel is still fighting Hamas in Gaza and the Lebanese Hezbollah group in the north. Tensions with Iran also reached their peak following the attacks between the two enemies. Some military experts said the resignations at a time when Israel is engaged on multiple fronts are irresponsible and could be interpreted as a sign of weakness.

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Shortly after the attack, Haleva said publicly that he took the blame for not preventing the attack as the head of the military department responsible for providing the government and army with daily intelligence warnings and alerts.

While Haleva and others accepted blame for failing to stop the attack, others balked, most notably Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said he would answer difficult questions about his role but refused to do so. He did not explicitly acknowledge direct responsibility To allow the attack to unfold. He also has not indicated he will step down, even though the growing protest movement is demanding elections soon.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid welcomed the resignation, saying it was “justified and dignified.”

“It would be appropriate for Prime Minister Netanyahu to do the same,” he previously wrote on Twitter.

The Hamas attack, which came on a Jewish holiday, took Israel and its vaunted security establishment completely by surprise. Israelis' sense of confidence in their army – viewed by most Jews as one of the country's most trustworthy institutions – has been shattered in the face of the Hamas attack. Resigning can help restore some of that trust.

The resignation came as Jews around the world prepare to celebrate Passover, a week-long holiday that begins Monday evening and marks the biblical exodus of Jews from slavery in Egypt. With nearly 130 people still detained in Gaza, Passover is sure to take on a more somber tone this year: for many Israelis, The celebration of freedom is difficult to understand While dozens of people are still being held hostage.

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The Hamas attack sparked a devastating war that killed more than 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza, according to the local health ministry. The ministry's statistics do not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, but it at least says so Two-thirds of the dead were children and women.

The fighting destroyed the two largest cities in Gaza, and forced 80% of the Strip's population to flee to other parts of the besieged coastal enclave. The war sparked a humanitarian catastrophe that sparked warnings of impending famine.

The attack also sent shock waves through the area. Beyond Hezbollah and Iran, tensions have rocked the Israeli-occupied West Bank, as well as cities and towns within Israel itself.

Israeli police said on Monday that a car It collided with a pedestrian In Jerusalem, slightly wounding three, and a security camera video showed two men getting out of the car with a rifle before fleeing the scene. Police later said they had arrested the two men.

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This story has been edited to correct the spelling of Major General Aharon Haliva's surname.

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Associated Press writer Julia Frankel contributed to this report from Jerusalem.