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Commander of IDF Gaza Division resigns - ‘I failed to protect the Gaza envelope’

Brig.-Gen. Rosenfeld is second high-ranking IDF commander to resign over Oct 7

Israeli Brig. Gen. Avi Rosenfeld, the commander of the Gaza Division, On August 2022 (Photo: Israel Defense Forces).

IDF Gaza Division commander, Brig.-Gen. Avi Rosenfeld, tendered his resignation over the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre in a letter sent to IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and head of Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yaron Finkelman on Sunday evening.

“On October 7, I failed in my life's mission to defend the [Gaza] envelope,” Rosenfeld wrote.

“On the morning of Simchat Torah, a war broke out by surprise, without warning. For many hours, we failed to defend the communities, the tens of thousands of residents, the thousands of revelers at the party in the Reim parking lot, and the forces at the outposts against the thousands of terrorists who invaded our territory on dozens of routes in an all-out attack by the Hamas terrorist army.”

While taking responsibility for his part in the failure, Rosenfeld also praised the soldiers in his division. 

“From the beginning of the offensive, each one in the division acted within the framework of his duty to do everything possible to halt and destroy the enemy, save lives, and regain control on the ground. I am full of appreciation for the brigades, battalions, alert squads, and all those who fought bravely, in the most difficult conditions against thousands of terrorists. I grieve and carry with me every day the heavy price paid by civilians, IDF soldiers and security forces, and the loss of many friends.” 

Rosenfeld also announced that he would remain in his current role until a replacement is chosen. 

“Everyone has to take responsibility for his part and I am in charge of the division,” he wrote. “As part of taking responsibility as a commander, I decided to end my job and my service in the IDF after 30 years of service. I informed my commanders. I will remain here until my replacement takes office in an orderly manner in accordance with the instructions of my commanders.” 

Rosenfeld is the second high-level IDF commander to resign over failures related to the military’s preparation and response to the Hamas invasion. 

In April, Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva, the commander of the IDF Intelligence Directorate, announced his resignation over the Oct. 7 failures that led to the Hamas massacres. 

In October 2023, Haliva publicly took responsibility for the intelligence failures resulting in the IDF being unprepared for the attack and in November, he admitted that he would have to resign over the debacle. 

In his letter to IDF Chief Halevi in April, Haliva wrote: ”Along with authority comes heavy responsibility,” Haliva wrote to IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi.

“The Intelligence Directorate under my command did not fulfill its task. I have carried that black day with me ever since, every day, every night. I will forever bear the terrible pain of the war.” 

Haliva also called for Israel to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate “in a thorough, in-depth, comprehensive and precise manner all the factors and circumstances that led to the grave events.” 

So far, the coalition government has resisted calls for a state-level commission of inquiry. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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