Israeli military intel chief resigns over Oct. 7 failure

The Israeli war cabinet held a meeting late Sunday (local time) to discuss efforts for the release of remaining hostages held in Gaza, CNN reported, citing an Israeli official…reports Asian Lite New

Israel’s military intelligence Chief Major-General Aharon Haliva resigned on Monday, citing failure to prevent Hamas’ deadly surprise attack last October. He becomes the first senior official to take responsibility and step down, Al Jazeera reported.

In a resignation letter, Haliva expressed remorse over the October 7, 2023, attack by Hamas, acknowledging his division’s failure to fulfil its entrusted task.

The letter said that he “carried that black day” ever since, expressing enduring pain.

“On Saturday, October 7 2023, Hamas committed a deadly surprise attack against the state of Israel. The intelligence division under my command did not live up to the task we were entrusted with,” he said.

“I carry that black day with me ever since. Day after day, night after night. I will forever carry with me the terrible pain of the war,” he also said.

Haliva’s resignation marks a significant move as the first high-ranking official to step down in the aftermath of the attack. The army confirmed his decision, stating it followed his acknowledgement of leadership responsibility, according to Al Jazeera.

While expectations existed for resignations from Haliva and other officials due to the glaring failures leading to the attack, the timing remains uncertain amid ongoing conflicts with Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, alongside heightened tensions with Iran.

While Haliva and some others have accepted blame for the October attack, notable figures like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have not fully acknowledged responsibility for the attack, Al Jazeera reported.

War cabinet discusses hostage issue

The Israeli war cabinet held a meeting late Sunday (local time) to discuss efforts for the release of remaining hostages held in Gaza, CNN reported, citing an Israeli official.

The war cabinet has four members – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant, and National Unity Party chairman Benny Gantz.

In a video statement, released by the Israel government’s press office to mark Passover on Sunday, Netanyahu said, “This night, 133 of our dear brothers and sisters do not sit at the Seder table and are still imprisoned in the hell of Hamas.”

He accused Hamas of rejecting proposals for a hostage deal “outright.” He announced that Israel will soon land “additional and painful blows” and will increase “military and political pressure” on Hamas to release the hostages, according to CNN report.

For weeks, international mediators have facilitated talks on a ceasefire and hostage deal. However, the talks have yielded no apparent breakthroughs.

Earlier this month, Hamas indicated that it was not able to identify and track down 40 Israeli hostages needed for the first phase of a ceasefire deal, CNN reported, citing Israeli official and a source familiar with the discussions.

According to the framework outlined by the negotiators, Hamas should release 40 of the remaining hostages, including all the women as well as sick and elderly men during a first six-week pause in the fighting. In exchange, Israel would release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, the report said.

Amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi on Sunday gave approval to battle plans at the Southern Command headquarters in Beersheba, The Times of Israel reported.

Head of the Israel’s Southern Command Major General Yaron Finkelman and other officers attended the “assessment of the situation and approval of plans for the continuation of the war,” according to the IDF, according to The Times of Israel report. (ANI)

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