‘They owned the street, not us’: IDF believed Hamas invasion ‘impossible’, had no plan — report

Commandos who rushed in were prepared for only a few hours of combat rather than days.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

The October 7th invasion by Hamas found the IDF wholly unprepared, with no plan and insufficient weapons to face the scale of the threat with orders given over social media networks like Telegram and Whatsapp to soldiers and pilots, as revealed in a New York Times report.

According to NYT, “Israel’s military was undermanned, out of position and so poorly organized that soldiers communicated in impromptu WhatsApp groups and relied on social media posts for targeting information.”

Commandos who rushed in were prepared for only a few hours of combat rather than days.

Helicopter pilots were told to consult news reports and Telegram channels to locate targets.

The IDF didn’t have a plan ready to respond to a large-scale Hamas invasion according to soldiers and officers interviewed by NYT journalists.

Yom Tov Samia, a major general in the Israeli reserves and former head of the military’s Southern Command said, “In practice, there wasn’t the right defensive preparation, no practice, and no equipping and building strength for such an operation.”

This lack of preparedness runs contrary to the founding principles of Israel’s military which is to always anticipate enemy attacks.

Israeli military officials believed that Hamas was neither interested nor capable of launching such a large-scale operation.

“As far as I recall, there was no such plan,” said Yaakov Amidror, a retired Israeli general and a former national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The army does not prepare itself for things it thinks are impossible.”

As a result, the IDF was slow in its deployment of troops on October 7th, and many were inadequately prepared.

Soldiers on October 7th sent the following messages:

“Come save us.”

“Send the army, quickly, they are killing us.”

“Sorry we’re turning to you, we’re already out of weapons.”

“Hamas is all over the roads,” one Israeli soldier reported. “They own the street, not us.”

Hamas fighters were heavily armed with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and land mines–enough to fight for days.

However, Israeli commandos arrived with only assault rifles and pistols and expected to fight for only a few hours–many didn’t even bring night goggles.

When asked about investigating the lack of preparedness on October 7th, the IDF told NYT, “The IDF is currently focused on eliminating the threat from the terrorist organization Hamas. Questions of this kind will be looked into at a later stage.”

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