“We know that Egypt has warned the Israelis three days prior that an event like this could happen,” McCaul told reporters Wednesday following a closed-door intelligence briefing on the attack, the BBC reported.
“I don’t want to get too much into classified [information], but a warning was given. I think the question was at what level.”
An Egyptian official asserted to The Times of Israel that its intelligence service warned Israeli counterparts that Hamas was planning “something big” ahead of Saturday’s surprise attack. The official speculated the warning did not make it up the chain of command to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.
Egypt has not officially commented on the alleged warning, but the Times of Israel also reported that Egyptian media with close ties to the country’s intelligence services Wednesday quoted senior security sources denying reports that such a warning was issued.
McCaul said the attack had possibly been in the works for as long as a year.
“We’ve heard from the administration; there seems to be a failure of intelligence as well,” McCaul said, according to The Hill. “We’re not quite sure how we missed it. We’re not quite sure how Israel missed it.”