Middle east

Israel Was Aware of Hamas Attack Three Weeks Before Its Execution

The intelligence leadership was aware of instructions on how to detain and guard hostages while they were inside Gaza

Israeli official broadcasting reported on Monday that Israeli security authorities ignored an “intelligence document predicting a Hamas attack” on the settlements near the Gaza Strip on October 7. This document reiterates previous data indicating that Israeli security agencies were aware of the Hamas attack before it occurred but did not take decisions to stop it.

The broadcaster claimed that the document dates back to September 19, 2023, three weeks before the attack, which Israel describes as the worst in its history. The document, titled “Detailed Training on Raids from Beginning to End,” was reportedly prepared by Unit 8200 of the Military Intelligence Division.

Israeli security sources, who were not named, said that “the document was known to the intelligence leadership, and at least to the Gaza Division command” in the Israeli army.

The broadcaster stated, “The person who wrote the document describes in detail a series of drills conducted by Hamas elite units, which trained in raiding military sites and kibbutzim (small Israeli towns), kidnapping soldiers and civilians, and even instructions on how to detain and guard hostages while they are inside Gaza.”

“The document starts with a series of drills conducted by the brigades of Hamas‘s military wing.”

According to the document, “the first step in the exercise is to breach a mock Israeli army site built in Gaza, simulating sites near the sector. The exercise was conducted by four companies, each given a different site.”

Israeli intelligence officers who followed the exercise formulated the next steps after penetrating Israeli territory and seizing forward positions, noting that the instructions were to hand over captured soldiers to company commanders and that the expected number of hostages ranged from 200 to 250 people.

The military raid objectives trained on were also described in the document: command headquarters, operational command centers, synagogues in military bases, air force headquarters, communication headquarters, firing equipment, and soldiers’ quarters.

The document indicated that the elite brigades were ordered to check the site upon departure and leave no documents behind.

The document stated, “The Southern Command intelligence and Gaza Division were not only aware of Hamas‘s kidnapping plan but also detailed the conditions in which the hostages were held, including instructions for the kidnappers on how to act in extreme situations, how to detain hostages, and under what conditions they could be executed.”

The broadcaster noted that security authorities ignored the document, adding that “before the outbreak of the war, the defense establishment boasted about the new smart security barrier, completed two years before the Hamas attack, a wall above and below ground equipped with technological systems.”

Many Israeli political, security, and military officials described the Hamas attack as a “major intelligence failure.”

Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, captured about 239 people, according to Israeli media estimates, during a surprise attack on military sites and settlements near Gaza on October 7, 2023.

Since then, Israel has been conducting a devastating war on Gaza with full American support, resulting in more than 122,000 Palestinians killed or injured, plunging Tel Aviv into international isolation and leading to legal pursuits against it at the International Court of Justice.

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