The "Washington Post" reported on Wednesday Hamas' deception against Israel, how the military intelligence was fooled to disregard warnings of Hamas preparing for a massive attack.
According to the report, Hamas refrained from firing rockets at Israel after the may 2021 conflict and remained out of the fighting when the Palestinian Islamic Jihad attacked Israel. Hamas even provided Israel with intelligence on PIJ to reinforce the impression that they were interested in collaboration,
According to the "Washington Post," Hamas lulled Israel into a sense of calm during its preparations for the terrorist attack, which lasted more than a year. The deception succeeded despite the numerous warnings issued by various IDF sources in the months leading up to October 7 due to overt exercises conducted by Hamas, in which they simulated raids on the settlements surrounding Gaza.
The "Post" emphasizes that after the Operation "Guardian of the Walls" cease-fire, Hamas did refrain from firing rockets at Israel for the most part, and the launches until October 7 were mainly carried out by the Islamic Jihad. To reinforce the deception, Hamas personnel claimed in public announcements and private diplomatic talks, that the terrorist organization is interested in focusing more on promoting the economy of Gaza than on renewing the conflict with Israel.
This assessment was adopted in Israel, and in September of last year, the IDF intelligence chief Major General Aharon Haliva estimated that the economic assistance Israel gave to Gaza, such as bringing in thousands of Gazan workers, "has the potential to bring years of peace."
The Post report also mentions the riots in front of the border fence in the weeks leading up to the surprise attack, and Col. (Ret.) Miri Eisin, who previously served as the prime minister's advisor on foreign media, told the American newspaper that this move was also intended to induce "complacency" in Israel. She noted that in the security establishment and among Israel's allies, the main concern regarding invasion scenarios was mainly for the northern front, after Hezbollah announced a plan to conquer the Galilee already in 2018. "These plans were taken seriously, they were in the north, with Hezbollah," she said.
The "Washington Post" also mentions the IDF's unit in charge of collecting documents and technical spoils during war (Amshat Unit). This unit is currently collecting Hamas evidence to learn extent of Hamas' plans for October 7. The unit was closed five years ago because Israel was supposedly done with war, but reopened after October 7. Among the materials seized by the unit, were detailed maps of the IDF bases which the terrorists entered.
Despite the assessments in Israel that Hamas is "deterred", the surprise attack was preceded by a number of warnings from IDF officials - and Wednesday's report quoted a security source who confirmed that the IDF had gathered intelligence on plans for a large-scale attack by Hamas more than a year ago.
According to the source, the IDF issued an internal warning in April about a possible Hamas infiltration of kibbutzim around Gaza, following reliable information concerning an attack planned by Hamas with hundreds of terrorists. In August, weeks before the attack actually took place, new intelligence indicated an attack was imminent "The IDF increased its readiness and believed they stopped it. They now see it was part of Hamas’s deception," said the security official.
The "Post" further states that some of those in the IDF who did warn that Hamas was preparing for an attack were also the ones who had to deal with it in the first moments of chaos on the morning of October 7. Some of them paid with their lives. One of higher ranks who were killed in the fighting is Col. Assaf Hamami, The late Southern Gaza Brigade commander who was killed in the fighting in Nirim and his body was kidnapped to Gaza. "You woke up, you saw what was happening and there were those who said that you see dreadful visions. And then came the black Sabbath. May the great sacrifice you paid with your life not be in vain," said his bereaved mother, Clara.
The "Post" also revealed on Wednesday new details about the attack itself on October 7. According to the report, some of the 3,000 terrorists who attacked Israel that morning entered with invasion plans and precise instructions, attack bases as south as Be'er Sheva and even Rehovot. Hamas also planned to attack two locations in the Mediterranean Sea, identified only by the code names 103 and 106. The "Post" states that in recent years Israel has increased the security around the gas rigs at sea, but it remains unclear whether they were targeted. “We don’t know what they wanted there,” an officer in the Amshat unit told the Post.
In the past it has already been reported on the exact instructions with which the terrorists infiltrated Israel, each cell with the objectives given to it, including the murder or kidnapping of women and children. The "Post" is now reporting that one of the seized documents also included translations of various sentences from the West into Hebrew, including "take off your pants", "we will kill the abductees" and "how do you use the weapon?". One of the seized flyers includes the quote: "your enemy is a disease which has no cure other than to cut out their livers and their hearts."