Almost half of Israel’s spy balloons inoperable during Hamas attack: Report

Three of Israel's seven reconnaissance aerostats, which could have warned the Israeli authorities of Hamas' October 7 attack, were inoperable that day because of the government's failure to upgrade and maintain the equipment, Daily Mail has reported, citing security sources.

The inoperable spy balloons made Israel’s defense line along the Gaza border vulnerable. The failure to operate the aerostats may be attributed to insufficient funding.

The aerostats, equipped with a payload of cameras, sensors and spyware, have long been a key part of Israel’s early warning system, and had they functioned properly, the outcome of the Hamas attack might have been different, the newspaper reported.

On October 7, Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise large-scale missile attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing and abducting people in neighboring Israeli communities. Israel launched retaliatory strikes and ordered a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, cutting off supplies of water, food, and fuel.

On October 27, Israel launched a large-scale ground incursion into the Gaza Strip with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages.

The conflict has resulted in the deaths of around 1,200 people in Israel and over 12,300 in the Gaza Strip.

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