Israeli officials had Hamas’ battle plan for its deadly Oct. 7 terrorist attack more than a year before it actually unfolded, The New York Times is reporting.
The paper cited documents, emails, and interviews.
According to the Times report, this foreknowledge had a limited impact, though: Israeli military and intelligence officials dismissed the plan as “aspirational,” it said, not to mention far too complex for Hamas to possibly pull off.
According to the report, a document was called “Jericho Wall” and came in at about 40 pages long. It outlined a distinctly ambitious attack plan. The paper said the doc covered the plan in minute detail, adding up to an attack very much like the one carried out on Oct. 7 that killed about 1,200 people and stoked a ongoing war in Gaza.
The translated document was reportedly reviewed by Times journalists. Though it is said to have left a date for a strike unspecified, it did lay out particulars, calling for Hamas fighters to swamp Gaza fortifications, besiege military installations and take control of Israeli cities.
The specifics, later seen on Oct. 7, range from a spray of rocket and drone attacks to gunmen carried aloft to targets by paraglider. Further, the plan had facts and figures on Israeli forces, their extent and whereabouts, and other delicate intel.
Though the newspaper report says the prescient document was widely distributed among military and intelligence officials, it is unclear precisely what happened beyond that. However, it does appear that the report had its share of believers and skeptics.
Experts determined that an attack of such size and audacity was more than the terror group Hamas could manage, documents and officials were quoted as saying. And the news report left it unclear what top government officials such as the prime minister knew.
The report said that right after the document was obtained, it remained nebulous what plans Hamas actually had in Gaza. Over the summer, though, came a report from an analyst in Israel’s signal intelligence group that there had been an extended training exercise, one seeing to align with details in the purported attack blueprint.
Nonetheless, a colonel in the Gaza division was dismissive, the Times said, citing emails.
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