A report by The Washington Post published on Wednesday said that Col. Asaf Hamami, H’yd, commander of the Gaza Division’s Southern Brigade, had repeatedly tried to “sound the alarm” about Hamas’s plans to assault Israel.
According to his mother, Clara, her son’s warnings were repeatedly dismissed. “You warned, you alerted, you told them, you saw what was about to happen, that we should not be complacent,” his mother said. “There were those who said to you, ‘You only saw the worst.’ Then the worst came, on Oct. 7.”
Sadly, Hamami, H’yd lost his life on October 7th battling terrorists at Kibbutz Nirim, and his body was abducted to Gaza.
According to the report, as Hamas was meticulously planning the assault, it simultaneously engaged in efforts to dupe Israel into continuing to believe its mistaken impression that Hamas was “deterred” – more interested in ruling Gaza and maintaining economic stability than attacking Israel. Hamas officials even went as far as providing Israel with intelligence on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group during Operation Shield and Arrow in May as part of its campaign to pull the wool over Israel’s eyes.
Israeli intelligence officials told the press this week that Hamas spent over a year planning the assault, taking advantage of Israel’s complacency, a complacency so deeply rooted that warnings by various army officials that Hamas was actively planning a multipronged and unprecedented attack into Israel were ignored.
The intelligence officials said that many of the Hamas terrorists who entered Israel on October 7th carried detailed instructions, with plans to take over military bases as far north as Rechovot and as far east as Be’er Sheva. The plans included maps of the internal structures on the bases, detailed lists of the weapons and equipment on each of its units, and checklists for abducting and murdering children, women, and men. They even had a list of phrases transliterated from Arabic to Hebrew: “Take your pants off,” “We will kill the hostages,” and “How do you use the weapon?”
In May 2022, an IDF intelligence paper, dubbed “Jericho Wall,” was submitted to Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva, the head of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate, and Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Toledano, the commander of the IDF’s Southern Command [who was replaced in July by Maj.-Gen. Yaron Finkelman].
The details in the document “were chillingly prescient.” Hamas planned to carry out its attack on Shabbos or Yom Tov, when fewer soldiers guarded the border. The attack would begin with a barrage of rockets to serve as a cover for the infiltration of Israeli communities and IDF bases, and snipers and drones would be used to disable surveillance cameras.
An Israeli security officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed to the Post that the IDF received intelligence about a mass Hamas assault over a year ago. He added that in April, the IDF issued an internal alert about a possible Hamas infiltration of Israeli communities near the border, with concrete evidence that the raid would be carried out by hundreds of terrorists. Then, in August, only weeks before the attack, there was new intelligence about an imminent attack.
“The IDF increased its readiness and believed they stopped it,” he said. “They now see it was part of Hamas’s deception.”
The IDF was so sure of itself that it didn’t even inform the civilian defense teams of the kibbutzim on the Gazan border of the warnings. Additionally, security officials issued a permit for the Nova music festival, attended by about 3,000 people only several miles from the Gazan border.
“To think that there was information and we were not told is more than an oversight; it is a betrayal,” said Rami Samuel, one of the event’s organizers. “An oversight can’t cost the life of 1,200 people.”
Finally, in the month or so before the attack, Hamas organized large protests at the Gazan border to accustom the IDF to the sight of mobs of Gazans on the border and lull Israel into complacency,” said Miri Eisin, a former senior IDF intelligence officer.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)