How Hamas pulled off its unprecedented surprise assault

Saturday’s attack was the culmination of a long effort to pull the wool over Israel’s eyes, Hamas source tells Reuters.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A Hamas source took credit Monday for Israel’s complete unpreparedness for its invasion Saturday, saying that it was the culmination of deliberate, long-term planning to deceive the IDF into thinking it wasn’t interested in a full-blown war, Reuters reported.

“Hamas used an unprecedented intelligence tactic to mislead Israel over the last months, by giving a public impression that it was not willing to go into a fight or confrontation with Israel while preparing for this massive operation,” the source told the news agency.

The terror organization managed to “build a whole image that it was not ready for a military adventure against Israel,” even while posting videos online of their military training in a mockup of an Israeli settlement it had built, the source added.

Aware of the videos, the thinking of the IDF was that they were simply posturing for their people while still being deterred by 2021’s Operation Guardian of the Walls, in which Israel destroyed a large part of the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza after Hamas launched a missile attack over the border.

This thinking was encouraged by the fact that Hamas stayed out of the most recent mini-rounds with Israel led by its smaller rival in Gaza, Palestinian Islamic Jihad. According to the source, it was all part of Hamas’ strategy, and the senior echelon held to it even as it took internal criticism for not attacking their mutual enemy.

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“We believed that the fact that they were coming in to work and bringing money into Gaza would create a certain level of calm. We were wrong,” an IDF spokesperson said.

Unemployment is very high in the Strip, and one of the incentives that Israel has used extensively in the past is giving permission to more laborers to come in to work when there is quiet. It closes the border during times of conflict, as it has now, which puts Hamas under greater economic strain.

The fact that IDF intelligence had no inkling of what was to come – a fact that stuns the wider Israeli public – was also the result of Hamas efforts, according to the source. Even leaders of the organization had no knowledge of the attack plan, nor did the fighters who were doing the actual training.

Hamas’ efforts paid off on Saturday, in what another IDF spokesperson, Maj. Nir Dinar, called “our 9/11.”  Some one thousand Hamas fighters temporarily captured a military base on the border, destroying and stealing equipment while jamming communications in the area so word could not get out, invaded most of the settlements in the Gaza envelope, going door to door murdering residents, took over a rave site where they gunned down 260 Israeli youth, and kidnapping at least 100 men, women, the elderly and children, bringing them to the Gaza Strip to be used as hostages.

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Their forces are still engaging with IDF troops on the ground in Israeli territory.

Over 800 Israelis are dead so far, mostly civilians, and more than 2,500 are wounded, 367 of them in either critical or serious condition. This is proportionally more than double the losses the United States suffered in the al-Qaeda attack on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on September 9, 2001.