Israel ignored warning of Hamas’ October attack: Report

Israeli security authorities ignored an intelligence document last September that predicted the Hamas attack of Oct. 7, according to a report.

The report, revealed by the Israeli Broadcasting Authority, claimed the document, dated Sept. 19 – about three weeks before the attack that Israel has described as the worst in its history – was prepared by the military intelligence unit 8200.

The outlet cited unnamed Israeli security sources saying the document “was known to intelligence leadership and, at least, to the Gaza command” of the Israeli military.

The report said the document “described in detail a series of training exercises carried out by Hamas elite units, which practiced raiding military positions and kibbutzim (small Israeli communities), kidnapping soldiers and civilians, and even instructions on how to detain and guard the abductees while inside the Gaza Strip.”

According to the report, the document outlined the initial step of the exercise as “creating breaches in a simulated Israeli army position built in Gaza that mimics sites near the Strip,” with four brigades each assigned a different location.

The report said Israeli intelligence analysts who observed the drill then “outlined the subsequent steps after infiltrating Israeli territory and seizing forward positions,” noting that the instructions called for handing over any captured soldiers to brigade commanders, with an expected 200–250 hostages.

The document also reportedly detailed the targets of the military raid the units trained for, including “command posts, operations centers, Jewish temples on military bases, the air force headquarters, communications headquarters, firing positions, and soldier housing areas.”

The report said the elite brigades were given a final order “to thoroughly verify the location upon departure and not leave any documents behind.”

The Israeli broadcaster concluded that not only were the Southern Command and the Gaza Division unaware of Hamas’ kidnapping plan, but the document also “detailed the conditions under which the hostages would be held, including instructions for the kidnappers on how to act in extreme cases, and under what circumstances the captives could be executed.”

The report noted that despite the warning, Israeli security authorities ignored the intelligence document.

It added that prior to the outbreak of the war on Oct. 7, the defense establishment had boasted about a new “smart” security barrier completed two years before the Hamas attack, featuring above- and below-ground technological systems.

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

Flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by Hamas.

More than 37,300 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and more than 85,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

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