The surprise attack on Saturday by Hamas and probably also by the Islamic Jihad from Gaza caught Israel by complete surprise, without warning or forces on standby. The attention of the IDF and the security establishment is directed to Judea and Samaria in fear of the incendiary area. The security situation at the Gaza border and the area surrounding Gaza during the holiday was completely routine.
The time will come to find out who is responsible for this failure, and if there was negligence or complacency on the part of the security forces, especially the Intelligence Directorate of the IDF and the Shin Bet. At the moment, the most urgent task of the entire intelligence community is to make sure that the surprise attack from Gaza is not coordinated and timed with additional attacks that will come from the north and east: from Lebanon, Syria and possibly from other places, mainly through rockets and infiltration attempts.
The main danger is from the Lebanese border and therefore, alongside the effort to contain the attack in the south, the intelligence community must direct resources to the north. Recently, there have been hints, mainly from Lebanon, that there is an intention to carry out a coordinated offensive by Hezbollah and the Gazan organizations. The second main effort of the IDF in general and of the Air Force in particular, after clearing the area of the terrorists who infiltrated Israeli territory, is to prevent them from kidnapping and transferring more hostages and bodies of Israelis to Gaza.
These are the two most urgent tasks. The terrorists from Gaza demonstrated this morning that the so-called "impassable" obstacle at the Gaza border, is possible to penetrate and bypass through the Erez crossing, without much difficulty. This blunder will also become clear after containment.
Following the recent events, the IDF announced the opening of Operation "Iron Swords", and it is likely that it will be forced to conduct a ground maneuver of armored and infantry forces in the Gaza Strip.
Terrorists were able to take hostages and possibly the bodies of fallen soldiers and killed civilians and transfer them to Gaza. The picture is still unclear. It will take hours for the picture of the losses and damage to become clear, and how exactly they were possible.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared that Israel is in a state of war, which means that there is a state of emergency in the home front up to 80 km from the border of the Gaza Strip to the north and east, and reserve units were mobilized was called which will probably be expanded later. Israel is already attacking the Gaza Strip, mainly destroying launch sites of rockets that are supposed to reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Hamas prefers to fire as early as possible at these targets before the Air Force strikes damage its launches, most of which are buried underground.
It seems that Hamas intends to continue intense fire as long as it can. It sees the event as an opportunity, perhaps its last, to establish its position as the leader of the Palestinian camp in the fight against Israel. This operation is not intended to extort economic benefits from Israel, but to make Hamas the dominant party in the Palestinian arena in preparation for the departure of Mahmoud Abbas, and especially in view of what the Gazans recognize as the weakness of the State of Israel and its inability to respond.
In Hamas' point of view, this is about taking advantage of a strategic opportunity and in its response the State of Israel must clarify its mistake even at the cost of life and destruction of property that it will exact on the Gaza Strip.
It is safe to assume that in relation to the other potential areas of conflict, in Lebanon and Syria, Israel is sending unequivocal diplomatic messages to hostile elements lest they join the fighting. At the same time, reinforcements will be deployed in all areas.
The Home Front Command and the police forces are preparing to suppress disturbances and roadblocks within the country by extremist elements who may also try to take advantage of what they see as an Israeli weakness.