(OPINION) A shocking new report from the New York Times Thursday night claims that emails, documents, and interviews show that Israel obtained the blueprints for Hamas’ plans for a horror attack more than a full year before the Oct. 7 assault which killed over 1,200 Israelis and let to the current Israel-Hamas war.
Despite a trove of evidence pointing to the potential attacks, Israeli intelligence concluded that Hamas could not carry out such an effort, and their plans were “aspirational.”
If true, this would be a potential blow to the reputation of the Israeli security apparatus and could point to serious flaws that put the country in danger of future such attacks.
The plan reportedly shows that Hamas carefully plotted the carnage and acted on their blueprint with murderous accuracy:
The approximately 40-page document, which the Israeli authorities code-named “Jericho Wall,” outlined, point by point, exactly the kind of devastating invasion that led to the deaths of about 1,200 people.
The translated document, which was reviewed by The New York Times, did not set a date for the attack, but described 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.
Hamas followed the blueprint with shocking precision. The document called for a barrage of rockets at the outset of the attack, drones to knock out the security cameras and automated machine guns along the border, and gunmen to pour into Israel en masse in paragliders, on motorcycles and on foot — all of which happened on Oct. 7.
The document further reveals that Hamas had studied the location and size of Israeli military forces and communication hubs. There was so much detail and inside information that some are questioning whether there were leaks from inside the Israeli military or government.
It’s unknown if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw the plans. Although the Israel Defense Forces did take note of increased Hamas training activities, they did not think they posed a huge threat.
It would appear that they vastly underestimated the military and planning capabilities of Hamas and their willingness to cold-bloodedly murder thousands of Israeli citizens, often more than happy to give up their own lives in the effort.
It was a costly mistake: Officials privately concede that, had the military taken these warnings seriously and redirected significant reinforcements to the south, where Hamas attacked, Israel could have blunted the attacks or possibly even prevented them.
Instead, the Israeli military was unprepared as terrorists streamed out of the Gaza Strip. It was the deadliest day in Israel’s history.
The Hamas planning document opens with a quote from the Quran: “Surprise them through the gate. If you do, you will certainly prevail.” It is a quote they often use in videos and propaganda in the days since Oct. 7.