Israel obtained Hamas operation plan over a year ago: Report

Israeli officials obtained Hamas’s battle plan for the 7 October attack more than a year before it happened, but dismissed it as too ambitious, a new report by The New York Times has claimed.

The newspaper reported that Israeli officials had obtained a 40-page document that Israel named “Jericho Wall”.

The document, seen by the daily, outlines the attack plan carried out by Palestinian armed groups with precise details.

The plan did not set a date for the attack, but did include “details about the location and size of Israeli military forces, communication hubs and other sensitive information”.

It detailed the use of rocket attacks to distract Israeli soldiers, drones to disable security measures, and overrunning the Israeli military base in the kibbutz of Re’im.

Hamas did indeed overrun parts of Re’im during its 7 October surprise attack on southern Israeli communities, which killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and resulted in around 240 captives being taken to the Gaza Strip.

According to the New York Times, an intelligence analyst in Israel’s Unit 8,200 warned in July that Hamas had carried out a day-long training exercise similar to the plans outlined in Jericho Wall.

The analyst said it included a dry run of shooting down an Israeli aircraft and taking over a kibbutz and a military training base, and killing all its cadets.

A military official in Israel’s division responsible for containing threats from Gaza reportedly applauded the analysis but called it a “totally imaginative” scenario.

According to the report, Israel may have been able to blunt or prevent Hamas’ attack had the warnings been taken seriously and significant military reinforcements been deployed in southern Israel.

The Jericho Walls document was circulated widely among senior Israeli military and intelligence officials, but was deemed to be beyond Hamas’ capabilities.

The NYT added it could not determine whether Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw the document.

More than 15,000 Palestinians in Gaza – mostly women and children – have been killed by Israeli bombardment since the war began nearly two months ago.

On Friday, a seven-day truce between Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza came to an end, with hostilities having resumed immediately upon its expiry.

During the week-long halt in fighting, 240 Palestinians were released from Israeli jails in exchange for 105 captives held in Gaza.

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