The supposed instructions given to thousands of Hamas terrorists who attacked Israel on October 7 and massacred 1,400 Israelis were relayed at the last minute before the terror attack began, the British newspaper The Guardian revealed Tuesday.
To maintain the secrecy of the terror attack, the initial instructions were only dispatched just hours before the assault began, an Israeli source told the newspaper.
Before 4:00 a.m., Hamas terrorists who had taken part in the terror group's training were told not to go to their usual mosques for the morning prayers. About an hour later, as the skies over Gaza started to lighten, new orders came through, primarily through hushed conversations. At 5:00 a.m., the terrorists were instructed to return to their homes, gather their weapons and gear, and assemble at specific rendezvous points. Even then, the terrorists were left in the dark about the specifics of their mission and the actions they were about to undertake.
The instructions were covertly disseminated across the Gaza Strip, with a focus on maintaining the terror attack's secrecy. Initially, they were relayed to battalion commanders, each overseeing 100 or more terrorists. Subsequently, the instructions were passed down to commanders, responsible for groups of 20 to 30 terrorists. The directives then trickled down to friends, neighbors and close associates of the terrorists who had joined them for the bi-weekly training exercises held in dozens of locations throughout the strip.
Only when the terrorists reached their assembly points did Hamas supply them with more lethal weaponry and ammunition. Many of them had trained with these weapons in the months leading up to the terror attack and had returned them to Hamas after each training session. By the morning of October 7, they had access to machine guns, sniper rifles, RPGs, hand grenades and explosives.
In addition to the instructions, the terrorists received maps detailing the deployment of Israeli forces and key target locations. Each terror squad assigned to attack Israelis was given its specific target, which could be a military base, a kibbutz, a road or a settlement. It was estimated that the Nova Music Festival was not initially among Hamas' primary objectives before the operation.
The Guardian noted that the report is based on multiple sources and meetings with Israeli intelligence officials, experts, and informed sources familiar with the investigations of the captured terrorists. According to some of these sources, the number of terrorists who breached the border was estimated to be around 3,000, including members of Islamic Jihad. The report in The Guardian suggests that Hamas had been preparing for this terror attack for approximately two years, while Israeli authorities believe the preparations extended over a year and a half.