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Israel’s Gaza Division commander resigns over 7 October failures

Avi Rosenfeld will resign his command of the Gaza Division once a successor is chosen [Getty]

The commander of the Israeli army’s Gaza Division submitted his resignation on Sunday, citing his own failures during Hamas’s 7 October surprise attack on Israel.

Avi Rosenfeld, who is currently the brigadier general leading the division, said that he had failed in his mission to protect Gaza’s border communities.

“I’m in pain, and on a daily basis I bear the heavy price that the civilians, [Israeli army] soldiers and security forces paid – and the loss of many friends,” he told local authorities in a letter announcing his resignation.

Rosenfeld also told the military he would continue to serve as commander and take part in the investigations into the 7 October failures until a successor was chosen. 

The division, stationed on the border Israel-Gaza border, saw its base in Re’im overrun by Hamas fighters during its surprise attack on 7 October, with several Israeli soldiers killed and taken captive during the operation.

Israeli authorities said the attack killed around 1,190 people, with around 250 others being taken into Gaza as captives.

According to the Times of Israel, the commander of Israel’s 99th division, Brigadier General Barak Hiram, was lined up to take over the Gaza Division.

However, Hiram is under investigation after he ordered a tank to fire on a house in Kibbutz Be’eri on 7 October that was reportedly housing Hamas fighters and Israeli civilians.

According to survivors of the battle, the tank shells killed both the Hamas fighters and Israelis.

The Times of Israel added that the results of the investigation were expected to be presented in early July, with other investigations into the army’s failures on 7 October expected to begin being presented in the same month.

Israel’s war on Gaza, which has seen the Gaza Division take part in a military assault into the besieged enclave, has killed 37,124 Palestinians, with a further 84,712 wounded. Most of the victims were civilians, including women and children.

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