Israeli Media Reports IDF Knew Hamas Was Planning Attack

Israeli military intelligence cautioned that Hamas was preparing for a hostage-taking operation, but their superiors reportedly disregarded the warnings.

In mid-September, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) issued a warning that Hamas was planning to invade Israel and seize over 200 hostages, according to Israel’s Kan broadcaster on Monday.

Three weeks before Hamas militants launched their attack on Israel on October 7, the IDF’s intelligence directorate compiled a report, citing anonymous security sources, indicating that the Palestinian militants were training for a large-scale invasion of Israel. The document allegedly cautioned that dozens of Hamas commandos would participate in the raid, aiming to take between 200 and 250 hostages back to Gaza.

Several thousand Hamas fighters carried out the actual October 7 assault, killing approximately 1,200 people and taking around 250 hostages back to Gaza.

According to Kan’s sources, Hamas members were observed practicing attacks on mock IDF outposts, rehearsing how to capture military and civilian hostages, and training in how to handle the captives once they were detained in Gaza.

The document reportedly reached senior officials in the IDF’s Gaza Division but was “completely ignored,” Kan stated.

Kan is not the first source to allege that Israel was forewarned about the October 7 attack. Within days of the assault, Egyptian intelligence officials claimed that they had repeatedly warned the Israeli government that Hamas was planning “something big” in the days leading up to October 7, but these warnings were allegedly ignored in West Jerusalem.

Earlier in 2023, the IDF informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on at least four occasions that “Israel’s enemies” perceived the state as vulnerable to attack. However, the content of these warnings has never been publicly disclosed, and Netanyahu claimed last month that they did not mention any concrete plans by Hamas.

“Not only is there no warning in any of the documents about Hamas’s intentions to attack Israel from Gaza, but they instead give a completely opposite assessment,” the prime minister’s office stated.

According to an Israeli source cited by American journalist Seymour Hersh last year, Netanyahu was so unconcerned with the possibility of an attack from Gaza that he redeployed two thirds of the IDF troops normally stationed at Israel’s border with the enclave to provide security at an Orthodox Jewish festival in the West Bank – against the wishes of Gaza Division commanders.

With Israel’s war on Hamas entering its eighth month, retired general Benny Gantz resigned from Netanyahu’s war cabinet last week. Former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot left the cabinet shortly afterwards, with both men accusing Netanyahu of failing to develop a strategy for defeating Hamas and ending the war. Netanyahu dissolved the cabinet on Sunday, and is expected to discuss the conflict with a smaller group of ministers – including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer – from now on.