Joe Biden
Joe BidenArie Leib Abrams/Flash90

The IDF operation which saw the rescue of four Israeli hostages last week relied on a massive joint US-Israel intelligence operation, the Washington Post reported.

The Post quoted current and former US and Israeli intelligence officials, who confirmed that since October 7 the US has increased its intelligence collection on Hamas, and is sharing an "extraordinary" amount of intelligence with Israel.

Though the Israeli officials expressed gratitude for the US assistance, they were also defensive, saying that the US had not given them anything which couldn't be obtained independently. Some of the US officials expressed frustration at occasional "flawed assumptions" that the US might be withholding some information.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters in May that the US' provision of intelligence is "not tied or conditioned on anything else. It is not limited. We are not holding anything back. We are providing every asset, every tool, every capability."

But other US officials have expressed concern that US intelligence - provided for the sole purpose of rescuing hostages and targeting Hamas' top officials - is also being used to conduct airstrikes or other military operations - something which the US has forbidden.

In the case of the recent hostage rescue, the US intelligence "appears to have been secondary to what Israel collected on its own ahead of the operation," the Post noted.

The site added that FBI agents are working in Israel to investigate Hamas attacks on US citizens and aid in hostage rescue efforts. In addition, members of JSOC, the US' elite Special Operations force with experience in rescuing hostages, have also been working in Israel in partnership with US intelligence officers.

JSOC were prepared in October to deploy in Gaza to rescue US citizens held by Hamas. The operation, which would have been "an exceptionally dangerous mission," never came to fruition, US officials told the Post.

"If we managed to unilaterally get information that we could act on, and we thought we could actually get US people out alive, we could act, but there was genuinely very little information specifically about US hostages,” one official told the Post.