A major in the Palestinian analysis branch of IDF intelligence has resigned, marking the first instance of an Israeli intelligence officer stepping down due to the failure to predict and warn of Hamas’s October 7 invasion in southern Israel.
This significant development, initially reported by KAN news and verified by The Jerusalem Post, could potentially pave the way for more resignations.
Key figures, including IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar, and IDF Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, have acknowledged responsibility for the lapse, indicating a possible readiness to resign. However, they have emphasized the need to thoroughly investigate the October 7 failures, a process currently deferred until the conclusion of the ongoing conflict.
Despite earlier predictions by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant that the Gaza war would subside by the end of January, recent indications suggest that top defense officials may consider staying until the resolution of the conflict with Hamas, the return of Israeli hostages, and the resolution of the situation with Hezbollah in the North.
Reisgnation contrasts with Netanyahu’s rhetoric since the attack
Given the complexity of the strategic issues involved, some predictions suggest that top officials may not resign before late 2024. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to deflect blame for the October 7 failure and prevent investigations into his role since being reelected in 2009. Questions persist about Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s future. The resignation of the IDF major is the first indication that officials may not delay addressing the consequences of October 7 for as long as anticipated.
The major’s responsibility for downplaying the Hamas threat was part of a larger trend framing Hamas as a non-threat. Some accuse Netanyahu of indirectly using Hamas to weaken the Palestinian Authority without fully preparing for potential risks. The major is not the sole IDF officer who dismissed the Hamas invasion threat. Unit 8200 Officer “V” foresaw the full scope of Hamas’s plans and warned multiple times. Her superior officer, Lt.-Col. “A” in IDF intelligence, may be depicted as a prime culprit who dismissed her warnings. Despite this, Lt.-Col. “A” remains in IDF intelligence, with no plans for dismissal, and there might be plans for his advancement in intelligence roles. The major’s resignation, coupled with the IDF’s operational control in various Gaza regions, may compel others at the IDF and political levels to address responsibility, previously avoided, in the aftermath of October 7.