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update deskOctober 7

IDF officer first to resign over Oct. 7 intel failures

The intel major asked to leave his position over his part in failing to predict the Hamas massacre.

An Israeli soldier in Kibbutz Kfar Aza's "Youth neighborhood," five days after the Hamas invasion, Oct. 12, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
An Israeli soldier in Kibbutz Kfar Aza's "Youth neighborhood," five days after the Hamas invasion, Oct. 12, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

An IDF intelligence officer holding the rank of major announced his departure from his post due to his role in failing to identify Hamas’s invasion plans. He is reportedly the first officer to do so.

The officer, who works in the Military Intelligence Directorate’s Research Department, wrote in his letter of resignation to his commanders on Wednesday, “I take responsibility for my part in the October 7 debacle and request to end my duties.”

The officer wrote that he realized from the start of the war that he would have to step down but waited for a lull in the fighting. Four months into the war, he felt the time was right.

“The officer turned to his superiors several weeks ago and asked to end his position due to personal circumstances. The officer finished his position in the last few days and went on unpaid leave, at the end of which he will examine his future in the IDF,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Office said.

While describing the move as “unusual and one that requires courage,” Kan News noted that the Oct. 7 failure goes “much deeper than the performance of an officer at the rank of major. Rather, it’s related to many commanders in higher ranks in the Military Intelligence Directorate and other directorates in the army.”

Meanwhile, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi met on Wednesday with State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman to discuss plans to investigate the failures that led to Oct. 7.

“The meeting was held in a good spirit out of a common desire to act without harming the fighting effort,” the two men said in a joint statement.

They agreed that their staff will start joint discussions on how the investigation should proceed and then the two will meet again.

Englman and Halevi clashed about two weeks ago when Halevi put on hold an external probe initiated by Englman.

The army chief reportedly told Englman that a public investigation by the State Comptroller’s Office during the war would “distract commanders and harm the ability and quality of the IDF’s ongoing operational probe” and “prevent implementing the lessons necessary to achieve war goals.”

In response, Englman insisted that “the severe failures that led to the events of October 7 require a deep and fundamental examination by the State Comptroller’s Office of all echelons, political, military and civilian.”

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