How Hamas lulled Israel into a false sense of security – report

For years, Hamas had been projecting a pivot towards an economic focus rather than conflict, even collaborating with Israel against Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

By World Israel News Staff

An article published Wednesday in The Washington Post has detailed how Hamas orchestrated the devastating October 7 attack on Israel — which included plans to strike targets deep inside the country — by lulling the country into a sense of security. Citing Israeli intelligence sources, the report highlights the tactics used by Hamas to catch Israel off guard, even as the terror group was meticulously planning the assault for over a year.

More than 3,000 terrorists stormed the billion-dollar border fence from Gaza with detailed maps that included specific targets, ranging from military bases to civilian towns as far north as Rehovot and as far east as Beersheba, and in-depth battle plans for combat and abductions.

For years, Hamas had been projecting a pivot towards an economic focus rather than conflict, even collaborating with Israel against Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the report said citing an anonymous Israeli security official. This contributed to the Israeli misconception — known in Hebrew as conceptzia — that the terror group had mellowed out of practical concerns for their civilians.

“For years, in public statements and private diplomacy, Hamas had claimed that it was more interested in building Gaza economically than in renewing a conflict with Israel,” the report said, and went on to cite Aharon Haliva, the head of IDF intelligence, as saying in September 2022 that although Hamas was involved in military activities, “we see that the processes being undertaken vis-à-vis Israel to stabilize the economy and to allow entry to laborers have potential for bringing years of quiet.”

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Former IDF intelligence officer Miri Eisin also explained to The Washington Post how massive riots at the Gaza fence were part of Hamas’s strategy to accustom the IDF to border crowds and create a false sense of security, “to lull Israel into complacency,” she said.

As recently as September 28 — a week and a half before Hamas’ brutal attack — dozens of Palestinians clashed with IDF border units, shooting at and launching projectiles at soldiers.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned that should an Israeli soldier or civilian be hurt, Jerusalem would respond forcefully.

“We do not want an escalation and we are not aiming for battle, but if we get to a situation in which it is necessary to act, Operation Shield and Arrow from a few months ago should serve as a reminder for every terrorist entity as to the capabilities of the defense establishment,” he said at the time.