‘IDF lookouts’ warnings on Gaza border were ignored’

‘The terrorists had a model of weapons on the fence and they would also show how they would blow it up, and co-ordinate how to take over the forces and kill and kidnap.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Female lookouts on the Gaza border said their warnings and reports were not heeded before the October 7th massacre according to a report by the BBC.

“Why are we here if no one’s listening?” Shahaf Ashram, one of the first Nahal Oz lookouts killed by Hamas, complained to her mother Illana shortly before October 7th.

The mainly female lookouts, known as tatzpitaniyot, provide a crucial service to the IDF and are often called, “The eyes on the border.”

Their task is to watch the border every second–without squinting or looking away for even the briefest moment, and to record what they see.

The lookouts noticed highly suspicious behavior on the border for several months before the invasions and reported what they saw, but when they expressed concerns, they were often ignored.

One lookout who called herself “Noa” said that when she tried to raise the alarm about the things they saw, they were told that their job was only to watch, and said, “We were just the eyes.”

However, Noa said that the lookouts knew that there was a “balloon that was about to burst” on the border.

What had started as a few men doing fitness exercises evolved into full military terrorist training on the border.

“We would see them practicing every day what the raid would look like,” said Noa. “They even had a model tank that they were practicing how to take over.”

Noa continued, “They also had a model of weapons on the fence and they would also show how they would blow it up, and co-ordinate how to take over the forces and kill and kidnap.”

Another lookout who calls herself Gal said she saw from a surveillance balloon a replica of an Israeli weapon that was built “in the heart of Gaza.”

The lookouts also said they saw people detonating bombs on the wall between Gaza and Israel to test its strength in the weeks leading up to October 7th.

Roni Lifshitz reported that she saw vehicles filled with Hamas terrorists from the Nukba unit, which was mainly responsible for the October 7th attack periodically stop and watch posts from the other side of the fence.

Roni remembers “men talking, pointing at the cameras and the fence, taking pictures.”

Other lookouts observed farmers changing their routines and moving closer and closer to the border.

The lookouts recorded these incidents and even alerted higher-ups to them, but they received no response.

Roni Lifshitz said they were told their messages were being passed on “probably to intelligence but whether they do something with it or not, I don’t really know,” she says. “No one gave us an answer back about what we had reported and conveyed.”

Noa said she filed countless reports and that within the unit, everyone “took it seriously and would pass it on but in the end they [people outside of the unit] didn’t do anything about it.”