‘Israel had Hamas attack blueprint a year ago, dismissed it as aspirational’


TEL AVIV: : Israeli officials obtained Hamas’ battle plan for the Oct. 7 terrorist attack more than a year before it happened, documents, emails and interviews show. But Israeli military and intelligence officials dismissed the plan as aspirational, considering it too difficult for Hamas to carry out. The approximately 40-page document, which Israeli authorities code-named “Jericho Wall”, outlined, point by point, exactly the kind of devastating invasion that led to the deaths of about 1,200 people.The translated document, which was reviewed by NYT, did not set a date for the attack, but described a methodical assault designed to overwhelm the fortifications around Gaza Strip, take over Israeli cities and storm key military bases, including a division HQ.
Hamas followed the blueprint with shocking precision. The document called for abarrage of rockets at the outset of the attack, drones to knock out the security cameras and automated machine guns along the border, and gunmen to pour into Israel en masse in paragliders, on motorcycles and on foot — all of which happened October 7.
The document circulated widely among Israeli military and intelligence leaders, but experts determined that an attack of that scale and ambi tion was beyond Hamas’ capabilities, according to documents and officials. It is unclear whether PM Netanyahu or other top political leaders saw the document, as well.
In July, just three months before the attacks, a veteran analyst with Unit 8200, Israel’s signals intelligence agency, warned that Hamas had conducted an intense, daylong training exercise that appeared similar to what was outlined in the blueprint. But a colonel in Israeli military’s Gaza division, which is responsible for defending the border with Gaza, brushed off her concerns, according to encrypted emails viewed by NYT. Officials privately concede that, had the military taken these warnings seriously and redirected significant reinforcements to the south, where Hamas attacked, Israel could have blunted the attacks or possibly even prevented them.


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