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Aharon Live resigned following the Israeli army’s failure on October 7. (Design: Palestine Chronicle)

By Robert Inlakesh

The resignation of Aharon Haliva is indicative of the failure of Israel’s overall strategic thinking when it came to “containing” the Palestinian resistance in Gaza.

In an admission of Israel’s military failure on October 7, in the face of the Hamas-led ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’ armed offensive, the Israeli army’s intelligence chief, Aharon Haliva, has just resigned and declared that “I will always carry the pain” for his responsibility in the defeat.

Born and raised in the occupied city of Haifa, in 1967, Aharon Haliva is a military figure with vast experience across various roles in the Israeli occupation army, which he first joined in 1985. 

Having been party to Israel’s violent repression of the First Intifada and Second Intifada, serving in the Israeli military during the occupation of Southern Lebanon and then playing a role in the 2006 war with Lebanon, his resume is far stretching.

When it comes to Israel’s brutal military repression of the people of Gaza, Haliva served in leadership positions with the Israeli military during three of the most notable attacks committed against the besieged coastal enclave; in 2008-9, 2012 and 2014. 

However, it wasn’t until 2016 that he was promoted to the rank of Major General, which would pave the way to him heading the Technological and Logistics Directorate in the General Staff of the occupation military. 

He would go on from there to lead the Operations Directorate in 2018, in which he would play a direct role in the 11-day war of May 2021, which Israel labeled ‘Operation Guardian of the Walls’.

Aharon Haliva believed that the 2021 war, between the Palestinian Resistance and the Israeli military, achieved its goal in securing a longer term calm. 

His view was that despite Hamas having established the ‘Joint Room’ of Resistance factions in order to establish a single Palestinian Resistance command and their declaration that operation ‘Sword of Jerusalem’ was a success, that it was Israel that had been the victor. 

This ignored the ‘Unity Uprising’, uniting Palestinians across the country, which had come in response to Israeli provocations in occupied East Jerusalem and attacks on worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque, that gave Hamas a basis to launch its initiative that began the May 2021 war. 

In the thinking of Aharon Haliva, Israel’s murderous assault on the Gaza Strip, combined with two other targeted operations against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement in 2022 and early 2023, the “Gaza front” had been effectively contained, despite the frequent provocations at al-Aqsa Mosque. 

He opted instead to push for normalization with the Arab Regimes, like Saudi Arabia, while strengthening the security forces of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank. 

His thinking, about a containment of Gaza’s Resistance, who were repeatedly threatening a wider war if Israel continued its attacks on al-Aqsa Mosque, also transferred over to Lebanon, where he urged the Israeli government to allow a maritime border demarcation with Lebanon in order to secure Israeli gas extraction interests.

In October 2021, Haliva was appointed as Chief of Israel’s Military Intelligence, which is where he would serve until his resignation this Monday. His resignation at this time, came as a follow up to an admission by a number of high-ranking Israeli military and intelligence officials, that they had been responsible for a strategic failure on October 7.

The resignation of Aharon Haliva is indicative of the failure of Israel’s overall strategic thinking when it came to “containing” the Palestinian resistance in Gaza, living under the impression that the Palestinian people and their cause for national liberation was no longer a primary issue for them and that they would be smarter to move on to other issues, such as normalization. 

Haliva quitting at this time, is expected to be followed by other officials handing over their roles and accepting defeat, which could place more pressure on the war government of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to finally conclude a prisoner swap with Hamas and to end the war; especially when combined with the large street protests that are calling for a change in strategy in order to return the Israeli prisoners and enter new elections.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

– Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. He focuses on the Middle East, specializing in Palestine. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

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