New York Times report: Israel had advance knowledge of Hamas attack plan

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.01 - 2023 10:01 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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Israeli officials reportedly had intelligence about a comprehensive Hamas attack plan over a year before the October 7, 2023, assault, as reported by the American newspaper New York Times.

The information, based on documents, emails, and interviews, indicates that a 40-page document titled "Jericho Wall" detailed the type of attack on Israel that eventually occurred on October 7, leading to 1,200 deaths.

This document, which the New York Times has seen, did not specify a date for the attack but outlined several elements of Hamas's assault plan.

The plan involved launching a large number of rockets, followed by drones to disable security cameras and automatic machine guns at the border, and then armed Hamas personnel entering Israel – all of which transpired on October 7.

High-ranking intelligence and military officials were aware of the document. However, Israeli officials dismissed the feasibility of the plan due to its "audacity" and uncertainty about its execution.

In July of the same year, an analyst warned of a comprehensive Hamas exercise resembling the plan described in the document, but the warnings did not indicate the attack's imminent execution. The intelligence community believed that Yahya Sinwar, Hamas's leader in Gaza, did not want a war with Israel.

It's unclear if Israel's political leadership, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, knew about the document. "Jericho Wall" is one of several attack plans Israel has obtained over time.

In 2016, the Israeli Defense Ministry had a document suggesting that Hamas intended to move the conflict onto Israeli territory.

This report by the New York Times is part of a focus on potential failures in Israel's intelligence service leading up to the October 7 attack.

The British media BBC also reported that several Hamas exercises near the border used tactics similar to those employed on October 7. A commission is expected to be formed to investigate the events leading up to the attack.

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