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Hamas attack was originally planned for April – media

The assault was called off, and the Israeli military considered it a false alarm, the nation’s Channel 12 reports

The Gaza-based Palestinian militant group, Hamas, had originally sought to carry out its attack against Israel on the Jewish holiday of Passover, which fell on April 5 this year, Israel’s Channel 12 TV broadcaster reported on Saturday, citing sources within a military intelligence unit. 

The military caught wind of the planned assault and detected the early signs of Hamas preparations, soldiers with the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) 8200 signal intelligence unit told the broadcaster. The data prompted the IDF to increase the alert level, Channel 12 said, adding that the Palestinian group had to abandon the initial plan after that. 

The Israeli military eventually considered the intelligence warnings to be a false alarm, the report added. Hamas, in turn, allegedly focused on internal security and kept most of its members in the dark about its subsequent plans, including the timing of the new incursion, which was scheduled for October 7, it said. 

According to some earlier Israeli media reports, surveillance units on the Israeli border with Gaza alerted the nation’s military about some “unusual” Hamas training exercises some three months before the October attack. Their concerns were reportedly dismissed as “fantasies” this time. 

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Israeli intelligence was warned about Hamas attack – FT

On Friday, the Financial Times also reported, citing its sources, that border sentries compiled a detailed report on the looming Hamas attack and presented it to the highest-ranking intelligence officer in the southern command weeks before the attack. The report contained “specific warnings” on the looming assault, namely Hamas’ plans to breach the border at multiple points, enter Israeli territory and seize local settlements, FT said. 

The IDF neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the report when approached by FT. Earlier, Israeli newspaper Haaretz cited an unnamed Israeli female soldier who blamed institutionalized sexism in the ranks of the IDF for the lack of attention to reports from its border sentries.

The October 7 attack killed some 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians. West Jerusalem responded with heavy bombardments of the Gaza Strip, followed by a ground operation. The death toll on the Palestinian side has since surpassed 14,800, according to officials in the Palestinian enclave.

November 27, 2023 at 04:03AM

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