One factor was crucial: expert explained why it took Israel so long to stop Hamas attack

Daria DurovaWorld
Military operations in Israel
Military operations in Israel

Hamas terrorists managed to break into Israel on October 7 due to the effect of surprise. Questions remain as to where Israeli intelligence was when the militants were preparing missiles and hang gliders, and why the country's defense forces failed to quickly stop the sabotage groups.

BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera noted that some border communities had to rely on their own civilian defense forces in the first hours of the escalation, waiting for the military. "The army was a complete failure as a rapid response force," complained one Israeli.

It seems that the country's intelligence had no specific information about the upcoming attack. The terrorists probably managed to convince the Israeli military that they were unable or unwilling to launch large-scale hostilities. Their operational security measures also worked as the command probably did not use electronic means of communication.

Hamas relied on an unprecedented scale and speed, effectively taking the IDF by surprise.

To cover their ground attacks, the militants fired thousands of rockets, overwhelming the Iron Dome. Meanwhile, drones struck Israeli monitoring equipment on the border fence, and explosives and vehicles breached the fence in about 80 places.

The terrorists also used motorized hang gliders and motorcycles that helped 800-1000 armed men break into Gaza.

BBC military commentator Pavel Aksyonov noted that the beginning of the attack was very well organized. Many experts suggest that the Hamas leadership was assisted by the intelligence services of some other countries, such as Iran.

"All of these events led to chaos in the command and control centers in Israel, especially since it was Saturday morning, which is a religious holiday for observant Jews," Corera wrote.

Some of the militants attacked civilian targets, while others attacked military outposts that were so poorly defended that it was shocking (as there were photos of Israeli tanks captured by Hamas).

The holes in the border remained open long enough for the terrorists to take some of the hostages to Gaza.

According to experts, the fact that Israeli security and defense forces have been concentrated in the West Bank in recent months, rather than in Gaza, may have played a role. And Hamas may have been counting on divisions in Israeli society due to the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Pavel Aksyonov drew attention to another thing: such a massive attack should have been noticed at least at the stage of deployment. Thousands of rockets launched means hundreds of launchers. The hang gliders that flew over the wall had to start from somewhere. Groups of militants in vehicles had to load up and move to the outer borders.

Israel's military and intelligence capabilities have long been considered the best in the Middle East and one of the best in the world. But Israel's defenders may have underestimated the capabilities of their enemies.

Israel on the map.


- As of October 10, an operation to clean up the headquarters of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas continues in Israel. On the fourth day of the war, the IDF has been conducting air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

- According to preliminary estimates, the death toll in Israel has exceeded 900 people, and the number of wounded is over 2,400.

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