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  • 24 May, 2024

Army officer quits over US backing of Israel's Gaza war.

Army officer quits over US backing of Israel's Gaza war.

"Feelings of shame and guilt" led Major Harrison Mann to resign in November, yet he felt "afraid" to express them sooner.

A former United States Army officer attributed his resignation several months back to his nation's unequivocal backing of Israel's actions in Gaza.

In a LinkedIn post on Monday, Major Harrison Mann conveyed his profound "shame and guilt," detailing his decision to step down from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in November.

Several other U.S. soldiers also resigned after a Hamas attack on southern Israel sparked the war in the Gaza Strip in October. Approximately 1,139 Israelis were killed and approximately 240 captured during this operation. Israel's seven-month-old war has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, and many of the enclave's 2.3 million residents have been forced from their homes and faced shortages of food and medicine, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. The United States continues to provide Israel with weapons and intelligence support. Rather than waiting months for an explanation for their discharge, most of those who have retired from the U.S. military have publicly expressed regret about Washington's role in that era. American pilot Aaron Bushnell died in February after self-immolating during a protest outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. In his letter, Mann said he was afraid to make public the reasons for his resignation.

"I was scared. We are afraid of violating our professional norms. I'm scared of the unfortunate official I respect. Fear of feeling betrayed. I’m sure some of you will feel that way when reading this,” he wrote. Mann shared the memo with colleagues last month before posting it to his LinkedIn profile. He wrote that he feels ashamed and guilty that he helped advance U.S. policies that he believes contributed to the genocide of the Palestinian people. "At some point, we will either pursue policies that condone mass child starvation for whatever good reason, or we will not pursue them," he said.

"Employee layoffs are common at DIA, as at other employers, and employees leave their jobs for a variety of reasons and reasons," a DIA spokesperson told Reuters.