An article published in The Washington Post on Wednesday outlines how Hamas lulled Israel into a sense of calm as it plotted its October 7 massacre.
The report, which cited Israeli intelligence officers said, noted that many of the 3,000 terrorists who stormed the border fence with Gaza on October 7 carried battle plans with specific instructions. Some involved plans to hit military bases as far north as Rehovot and as far east as Be’er Sheva.
The terrorists also came into Israel with detailed battle plans that included maps of the internal structures of military bases and civilian towns, extensive lists of weaponry and equipment used by each of its units, and checklists for killing and capturing men, women and children, according to The Washington Post report.
Despite the detailed plans of the attack, which Hamas planned for more than a year, the group was able to catch Israel off guard because of its in public statements and private diplomacy in recent years. Among those, said The Washington Post, was the group’s claims that it was more interested in building Gaza economically than in renewing a conflict with Israel.
Hamas had largely refrained from firing rockets at Israel after 2021. In May, it remained on the sidelines as the Islamic Jihad engaged in a short-lived conflict with Israel.
An Israeli security official told The Washington Post that Hamas officials even provided Israel with intelligence on Islamic Jihad to reinforce the impression that they were interested in collaboration.
Miri Eisin, a former senior IDF intelligence officer, noted the large demonstrations that were staged at the fence in Gaza. These demonstrations, she told The Washington Post, were meant to get the IDF used to the sight of crowds at the border, and, more broadly, “to lull Israel into complacency.”
Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that a rocket fired during the October 7 attack struck near a military facility in central Israel which, according to international experts, houses the IAF unit which is responsible for the majority of Israel's nuclear-capable Jericho missiles.
The attack caused a fire near the base but does not appear to have caused any damage, or even danger, to the missiles themselves. The report nevertheless claimed that new defenses have been added to the base against future rocket attacks.
Israel has historically refused to comment on any of its nuclear capabilities, including the existence of the base in question.
Previously, The New York Times reported that Israeli intelligence officials knew of Hamas' plan for the October 7 massacre over a year before it happened.
An investigation by NYT's Ronen Bergman and Adam Goldman showed that Israeli officials had obtained Hamas' battle plan for the attack, and held a document approximately 40 pages in length, codenamed the "Wall of Jericho," which outlined, in detail, the invasion which on October 7a led to the deaths of 1,200 people and the kidnapping of around 240.
The document did not specify a date, but it did include details of "a methodical assault designed to overwhelm the fortifications around the Gaza Strip, take over Israeli cities and storm key military bases, including a division headquarters," the report said.