Israel’s ‘catastrophic’ intel failure leads to Hamas offensive

ER Editor: Who on earth is seriously buying this ‘stunning failure of the intelligence services’ excuse? NOBODY beats Israeli military intelligence and surveillance. It’s as if all Israeli military personnel took an extended coffee break at the same time and turned off their systems on the way out the door. It doesn’t add up. Israel is (in)famous precisely for what it has suddenly failed at doing.

“Israel will be last”.




Israel’s ‘catastrophic’ intel failure leads to Hamas offensive

Israel’s sophisticated surveillance and spying networks make scenes of Hamas fighters moving through the streets of southern Israeli cities all the more impressive


Former Israeli officials are calling the massive Hamas military offensive against Israel a “catastrophic” intelligence failure that will have immense and swift political ramifications.

On 7 October, Hamas fighters breached the Gaza border fence and swept into Israeli towns and settlements, killing some 100 soldiers and settlers while taking others captive back to Gaza, including the commander of the Israeli army’s southern region. Hamas also fired thousands of rockets into Israel.

Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip (Photo credit: Majdi Fathi/TPS)


The unprecedented Hamas offensive was allowed to happen by “disarray” in the Israeli armed forces and intelligence services, said Chuck Freilich, the country’s former deputy national security adviser. (ER: Seriously??)

This is a catastrophic failure in regards to Gaza,” he told Politico.

“It’s a failure in terms of intelligence, operationally,” Freilich said. “It’s clear we were caught totally unprepared by this. The divisional headquarters responsible for Gaza was occupied, they’re in disarray, and so the whole response has been delayed.”

Freilich predicts the intelligence failures will have significant political repercussions for the Israeli government. (ER: Maybe this is the point.)

“There’s always a short-term rallying around the flag. But once the dust settles we’ll have major political ramifications,” Freilich said. “After the Yom Kippur war, it took three and a half years for [then Israeli Prime Minister] Golda Meir’s government to be toppled — I don’t think it will take that long this time.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already faced criticism that his proposed judicial overhaul legislation has harmed Israel’s military readiness. Netanyahu’s effort to reign in the power of Israel’s supreme court to block legislation passed by the Knesset has met strong opposition, including mass protests and the refusal of some army reservists to continue their service.

Amos Yadlin, a former IDF intelligence chief, also compared Saturday’s events to the “intelligence failure” of the Yom Kippur War in which Syria and Egypt initiated the conflict, taking the Israeli army by surprise.

Similarly, Eli Marom, the former head of the Israeli navy, stated on live television, “All of Israel is asking itself: Where is the IDF, where is the police, where is the security? … It’s a colossal failure; the hierarchies have simply failed, with vast consequences.”

Peter Beaumont of the Guardian noted the Hamas offensive was enabled by an “intelligence failure for the ages” and came despite Israel’s sophisticated technological surveillance systems and network of human informants among Palestinians.

He noted that according to members of Israeli intelligence’s 8200 Unit, “the net for developing sources is almost all-encompassing” in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Members of Unit 8200 “were told to seek individuals with financial and health problems, those vulnerable because of sexual impropriety, efforts duplicated in entry and exit interviews for those Palestinians allowed to leave the coastal strip.”

Israel also employs sophisticated surveillance technology, such as Pegasus spyware, to monitor Hamas’ communications.

Israel also monitors the Gaza border fence using a network of regular patrols, cameras, and ground motion sensors while employing remote-controlled mini-cannons to deter Palestinian fighters and protesters from breaching the fence.

Despite this, Israeli intelligence was unaware of Hamas’ preparations for the major offensive and did not observe Hamas fighters gathering to breach the border fence.



Featured image source, Netanyahu:

Featured image source, Gaza bombed: MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images



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