Israel military leaders had obtained detailed documents on Hamas battle plans for October 7, but did not pay any heed to them as they thought the plan was far-fetched, according to a report in the New York Times. The report states that a year before Hamas carried out the attack, documents about it had been circulating within senior Israel authorities.
The documents did not mention a specific date, but had clearly laid out how Hamas would come past the border and carry out the attack. The plan which was dismissed as too ambitious, ended up being the deadliest day in the 75-year-old Israeli-Palestine conflict.
1,200 Israelis were killed and over 200 taken hostage by Hamas when they launched an offensive on October 7. Since then, Israel has put Gaza’s population of 2.3 million under siege and conducted aerial bombardments and ground raids. Gaza health officials, considered reliable by the United Nations, say about 11,500 Palestinians are confirmed killed, around 40% of them children, and more are buried under the rubble.
The Times report said that Israel intelligence had prepared a 40-page document on the Hamas attack and codenamed it ‘Jericho Wall’. The document clearly stated how Hamas would overrun bases, target critical infrastructure and take hostages.
Hamas followed the blueprint with shocking precision, and started by firing a barrage of rockets at Israel. They then used drones to knock out at the cameras at the Israel-Gaza border. This was followed by their operatives streaming into Southern Israel towns using motorcyles, paragliders and boats, just as the ‘Jericho Wall’ document had detailed.
Israel after the attack vowed to destroy Hamas and only temporarily stopped its raids in Gaza after Qatar mediated a truce. Both sides agreed to release some hostages in exchange for ceasefire. The truce has also allowed some humanitarian aid into Gaza after much of the coastal territory was reduced to wasteland in the Israeli assault.
Israel has made clear it sees the truce as a temporary pause to secure the release of hostages, and that it plans to resume fighting.
“We swore… to eliminate Hamas, and nothing will stop us,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video released by his office, after meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.