Secret service knew about Hamas’ plans


Lerato Khumalo

A media report makes accusations against Israel’s army. Criticism in Israel of the pause in fighting along the humanitarian route in Gaza. More information in the news blog.

13:19: More than two weeks before the Hamas terror attack on Israel on October 7, there were clear warnings from military intelligence, according to a media report. The public broadcaster Kan reports that plans by the Islamist Hamas to attack military bases and civilian towns in the border area were known.

In a letter distributed within the Gaza Division on September 19, 2023, soldiers from the respected elite intelligence unit 8200 described Hamas training to penetrate military facilities. They were also warned of Hamas plans to kidnap 200 to 250 Israelis, including women and children. However, the warnings were ignored by superiors. In the Gaza Division, it was assumed that in the worst case scenario, several dozen terrorists could penetrate into Israel at three locations. An Israeli army spokesman says the report is being investigated.

A military correspondent from Kan explains: “The security system at that time was striving to pacify the Gaza Strip by improving the living conditions of the civilian population, granting work permits to Palestinians and lifting restrictions on goods.” Before October 7, the army relied mainly on the barrier on the border with the Gaza Strip, which also extends deep into the ground. “On October 7, everything collapsed,” says the correspondent. High-ranking members of the Gaza Division apparently reacted with disdain to the intelligence warnings. “Nobody banged on the table and raised the alarm.”

A soldier who was involved in drafting the document wrote in retrospect of the massacre on October 7: “I want to cry, scream and curse.” The commander of the Gaza Division announced his resignation just over a week ago. “On October 7, I failed in my life’s task of protecting the Gaza border area,” wrote Brigadier General Avi Rosenfeld.

06.05 am: After months of blockade, two leading Democrats in the US Congress are giving up their opposition to a major arms deal with Israel, according to a newspaper report. Representative Gregory Meeks and Senator Ben Cardin agreed to the arms delivery, which also includes 50 F-15 fighter jets worth more than $18 billion, under strong pressure from the Biden administration, reports the Washington Post, citing three people familiar with the matter.

The transaction has not yet been approved, but it would be the largest arms sale from the USA to Israel since the war began. Meeks stressed that the fighter jets will only be delivered “in a few years”. He also urged the White House to exert more influence on Israel to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza. More than 37,000 Palestinians have been killed since the war began, according to Hamas’ health authority.

11.15pm: In Jerusalem, thousands of Israelis once again took to the streets to protest against the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They called for early elections. In the evening, the demonstrators first gathered in front of the Israeli parliament. They then went to Netanyahu’s private house in the city. There they clashed with the police. According to a government representative, Netanyahu had previously dissolved his six-member war cabinet.

20:51: The Israeli army says it has killed a high-ranking artilleryman from the Shiite Hezbollah militia in southern Lebanon in a targeted air strike. Mohammed Mustafa Ayub is said to have been a key figure in the Nasser Unit’s rocket division in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah confirms that Israel has killed one of its fighters, but does not provide any further details about him.

The Nasser unit is one of three Hezbollah troop units in southern Lebanon. Only last Wednesday, Israel killed the commander of this unit, Talib Abdallah, in a targeted air strike. The Shiite militia then fired 200 rockets and other projectiles at Israel. According to Israeli sources, Ayub, who was killed on Monday, is said to have planned and carried out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and communities in the north of the country.