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Israel head of military intelligence resigns over Oct 7 Hamas attack

The Israel head of military intelligence, Maj-Gen. Aharon Haliva, has resigned.

He said he was taking responsibility for the mistakes that allowed the militant Palestinian Hamas and other groups to attack Israel on Oct. 7, 2023.

Since the start of the Gaza war more than six months ago, there has been an increase in attacks in Israel.

Referring to the Israel Defence Force’s (IDF) inability to prevent the attacks, Haliva wrote in a letter that the intelligence department had failed to fulfil the task entrusted to it.

Haliva said shortly afterwards that he bore responsibility for the mistakes that led to the terrorist attack.

To clear up these mistakes, he also called for the institution of a state committee of enquiry, Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant agreed to the request for his resignation.

According to military sources, he will leave the army when a successor is found.

He, however, said he was unclear when this would occur.

Haliva’s move could also increase the pressure on Israel’s government to address its own mistakes.

Many Israelis accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of not having admitted any personal responsibility for the political and military failures on Oct. 7.

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However, Netanyahu, who has been the subject of a corruption trial for some time, did not want to initiate an investigation until after the end of the Gaza war.

Critics accused him of dragging out the war to remain in office.

According to polls, the majority of Israelis want Netanyahu to resign after the end of the Gaza war at the latest.

In the event of new elections, the party of Benny Gantz, a minister in the war cabinet, would currently be the strongest faction.

Members of Netanyahu’s right-wing religious government have already attacked Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi in the past over his plans to set up a commission of enquiry.

He said that the commission of enquiry would investigate the army’s mistakes that made the Hamas massacre possible.

Monday’s events came after the IDF said one of its drones was shot down over Lebanon overnight.

A surface-to-air missile was launched at the drone that was operating in Lebanese airspace, the IDF wrote on Telegram.

The drone was hit and landed in Lebanon, the IDF said.

Fighter jets struck the missile launch site, it added.

The information could not initially be independently verified.

In the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas and others, more than 1,200 people were massacred and some 250 were kidnapped and taken to Gaza.

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Israel responded with massive airstrikes and a ground offensive.

Given the high number of civilian casualties, more than 33,000 according to Hamas health authorities, and the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza, Israel is being increasingly criticised internationally. (dpa/NAN)

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