On May 22, the head of the IDF military intelligence and the commander of the southern command were presented with a 30-page report titled, “Jericho Walls – the plan to break the Gaza Division,” showing in great detail the Hamas plan to infiltrate Israel and the murders and abductions that followed, including every aspect from an unprecedented intense rocket attack on every Israeli civilian center to using motorcycles and gliders.
On Monday, The Guardian reported, citing senior IDF officials, that the scale and detail of the information discovered by the invading IDF on the bodies of Hamas fighters and the laptops in Hamas command headquarters showed that Hamas had been engaged in “years of planning,” which “the IDF and other Israeli intelligence agencies simply failed to take seriously as a threat.” Clearly, Hamas knew the details of weapon stores on IDF bases and developed guides to the munitions available there.
The Guardian reported: “Hamas engaged in years of planning, drawing up detailed maps with the help of spies inside Israel ahead of the 7 October attack.”
HAMAS ATTACKED AN IDF NUCLEAR BASE
The New York Times reported on Sunday, based on visual analysis of NASA satellite images, that a Hamas rocket on October 7 hit an IDF base in Sdot Micha where many of Israel’s nuclear missiles are stored. No missile was hit, but the rocket’s impact started a fire that approached storage facilities of “sensitive weaponry.”
Sdot Micha is located southeast of Beit Shemesh, and foreign experts estimate that it stores 25-50 long-range “Jericho” missiles, capable of carrying nuclear warheads. It’s not clear whether Hamas knew, when it fired at the base, that it was more than a normal military installation. But the very attack on the remote base showed that the October 7 attack was even more extensive than first understood, and Hams rockets could penetrate and hit well-guarded strategic targets inside Israel.
By the way, if Hamas could do it, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Hezbollah can do it, too.
The Times also reported that captured Hamas plans included details about the location and size of Israeli military forces, communication hubs, and other highly classified information, “raising questions about how Hamas gathered its intelligence and whether there were leaks inside the Israeli security establishment.”
But all the IDF leadership had to do was take seriously its own intelligence assessments.
EVERYTHING WAS KNOWN A YEAR EARLIER
The presentation that accompanied the Jericho Walls report showed Hamas’s anticipated methods of action: using 65 cracks in the fence; building small bridges for the passage of motorcycles and four-wheel vehicles; using heavy rocket fire to create a diversion; shooting the security cameras that were installed on the border fence and using drones as weapons.
The report also pointed out in detail every single community that would be targeted by the invaders, from Sderot and Ofakim to the communities and military bases of the Gaza envelope.
The response of the men in charge of securing the lives of thousands of Israelis was, predictably: there’s nothing to worry about since Hamas is deterred by Israel’s superior military power. Hamas prefers to receive regular shipments of cash from Qatar under Israeli supervision and help some 20,000-day workers from Gaza to bring home paychecks. Hamas has been domesticated.
Incidentally, in the search for the culprit spies who passed detailed information to Hamas on the military bases of the Gaza envelope, the IDF would do well to consider those 20,000 Gazan day workers who roamed around those bases for more than a year. Was every last one of them vetted for his suspicious affiliations?
On May 9, 2022, News13 reported that the recent wave of terror that was experienced back then, including murders of Jewish civilians in Elad, was not initiated by Hamas, and the terrorist organization was merely riding on it for the sake of in-house publicity.
Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said in his assessment of the situation before the Lapid-Bennett cabinet that Hamas is deterred in Gaza, “even very deterred.” The IDF claimed that Israel is in a good security situation and that the noise and spin suggesting otherwise should be distilled from the assessment of the situation as presented to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense.
In August 2023, the report on the Hamas plans to invade Israel and carry out a massacre of civilians was updated, with convincing details that even the IDF brass could no longer ignore. Responding to the alarming report, Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi’s staff scheduled a meeting to discuss the report right after Simchat Torah.
As has been established by now, the head of military intelligence and the commander of the southern command received real-time alerts about the Hamas invasion on Friday night, October 6, but chose to ignore them, just as they had done the ample warnings of the “Jericho Walls.”
One of the documents that was seized from Hamas after October 7 is handwritten and stored on a laptop. It’s a detailed plan to take over an IDF command post close to the Gaza border fence, where, according to the document, only two squads of soldiers reside. It lists their roles and weapons and contains a careful hand-drawn map of the entire base.
One can imagine a Gazan day worker taking his lunch break somewhere on that base, and between bites of his pita dipped in olive oil drawing this precise map of a location with which he was personally so familiar.