Sun. May 19th, 2024

Israeli military intelligence chief resigns over 7 October attack failures

Jamie Roberts By Jamie Roberts May4,2024
Key Points
  • The head of Israeli military intelligence, Aharon Haliva, has resigned.
  • Haliva said last year he accepted responsibility for the intelligence failures that led to Hamas’ 7 October attack.
  • US officials earlier hinted at planned sanctions against Israel’s military over alleged abuses in the West Bank.
The head of Israeli military intelligence, who last year accepted responsibility for the failures that allowed the Hamas-led attack on Israel on 7 October, has resigned, the military said in a statement on Monday.
Major General Aharon Haliva is the first senior Israeli figure to step down over Hamas’ attack .

Haliva said shortly after the attack in October that he shouldered the blame for not preventing the assault.

The Israeli military said in a statement on Monday that Haliva had asked to end his service “following his leadership responsibility”.
The military added the military chief of staff accepted Haliva’s request to resign and thanked him for his service.
His resignation could set the stage for more of Israel’s top security brass to accept blame for not preventing the attack and step down.
The 7 October attack was a significant escalation in the long-standing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Israel has bombarded Gaza since the attack in which more than 1,200 people, including an estimated 30 children, were killed and over 200 hostages taken, according to the Israeli government.

More than 33,175 people have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in Gaza.
Around 480 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops or settlers in the occupied West Bank since the start of the Hamas-Israel war, according to Palestinian official sources.
The attack badly tarnished the reputation of the Israeli military and intelligence services, previously seen as virtually unbeatable.
The head of the armed forces, Lieutenant-General Herzi Halevi, and the head of the domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet, Ronen Bar, both accepted responsibility in the aftermath of the attack but have stayed on while the war in Gaza has continued.

By contrast, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far not accepted responsibility, although surveys indicate that most Israelis blame him for failing to do enough to prevent or defend against the attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would fight against any sanctions being imposed on Israeli military units over alleged abuses. Source: Getty / Abir Sultan/AFP

Israel vows to fight planned US sanctions on army unit

Earlier, the United States said it was planning to impose sanctions on an Israeli military unit over alleged human rights violations in the occupied West Bank, a move Netanyahu has denounced as “the height of absurdity”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hinted at such steps when asked by a reporter in Italy about reports that his department had recommended cuts in military aid to an Israeli unit involved in violent incidents in the occupied West Bank.
The allegations precede the deadly 7 October attacks on southern Israel.
Blinken, without providing details, said his department was conducting investigations under a law that prohibits sending military aid to foreign security units that violate human rights with impunity.
He then added: “I think it’s fair to say that you’ll see results very soon. I’ve made determinations; you can expect to see them in the days ahead.”

In late 2022, the State Department directed embassy staff in Israel to investigate alleged abuses in the occupied West Bank by the army’s ultra-Orthodox Netzach Yehuda battalion.

That included a January 2022 incident in which a 78-year-old Palestinian American died of a heart attack after being detained.
Although the allegations precede , the suggestion of any sanctions against Israeli forces drew an angry response from Netanyahu.
“In recent weeks, I have been working against the imposition of sanctions on Israeli citizens, including in my conversations with senior American government officials,” he said on social media platform X on Saturday.

“At a time when our soldiers are fighting the monsters of terror, the intention to impose a sanction on a unit in the IDF is the height of absurdity and a moral low. The government headed by me will act by all means against these moves.”

Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant similarly criticised the possibility of sanctions, after discussing the issue with army chief Herzi Halevi.
“The commanders and troops of the Netzach Yehuda battalion operate on the frontline — since the outbreak of the war, they have been working to push Hezbollah forces from the northern border, to thwart terrorism in Judea and Samaria, and most recently, they are operating to dismantle Hamas brigades in Gaza,” he said, adding that they were operating in line with international law and the Israeli military’s values.

He urged Washington “to withdraw its intention to impose sanctions” on the battalion.

American news website Axios, citing three US sources with knowledge of the matter, reported on Saturday that Blinken was expected to announce sanctions against the battalion “within days”.
It said the sanctions would ban the unit from receiving any US military aid or training.
An earlier report from ProPublica said a special State Department panel had recommended in December that Blinken disqualify several military and police units serving in the West Bank from receiving any US aid.

The latest developments came even as the US House of Representatives on Saturday overwhelmingly approved a bill to provide US$26 billion ($40 billion) in new emergency aid to Israel.

Jamie Roberts

By Jamie Roberts

Jamie is an award-winning investigative journalist with a focus on uncovering corruption and advocating for social justice. With over a decade of experience in the field, Jamie's work has been instrumental in bringing about positive change in various communities.

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One thought on “Israeli military intelligence chief resigns over 7 October attack failures”
  1. It’s concerning to see key figures resigning over intelligence failures. However, accountability is crucial, and it’s a necessary step to ensure the safety and security of the region.

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