GAZA PHOTO 2-1699284307951
Palestinians take control of an Israeli Merkava battle tank after crossing the border fence with Israel from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

Jerusalem: Israel's army said Sunday that a senior commander had resigned over what he called his failure to prevent the October 7 attack by Palestinian militants.

"The commander of the 143rd Division, Brigadier General Avi Rosenfeld, informed his commanders today of his intention to end his service in the (Israeli army)," said a statement by the military.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

"The officer will finish his duties in the near future."

Rosenfeld wrote in a resignation letter released by the army: "Everyone has to take responsibility for their part, and I am the one responsible in Division 143."

"On October 7, I failed my life's mission: to protect the envelope," he wrote, referring to the southern Israeli communities on the border with Gaza.

In April, Israel's military intelligence chief, Major General Aharon Haliva, became the first high-ranking official to step down for failing to prevent the attack that shocked Israel and the international community.

In his resignation letter, Haliva, who served in the force for 38 years, took responsibility for failing to prevent the attack.

"The intelligence division under my command did not live up to the task we were entrusted with," he wrote.

The bloodiest ever Gaza war broke out with the October 7 attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Israel's retaliatory military offensive has killed at least 37,084 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to the territory's health ministry.