In light of the Hamas attack, doubts are raised about Israel’s intelligence capabilities.

Israel-Hamas conflict: The strike by Hamas, which caught Israel off surprise on a Jewish holiday, casts doubt on the reliability of Israeli information.

hamas attacks on israel

Israel’s gaze is never far from the Palestinians in Gaza. Drones used for surveillance buzz nonstop in the air. Security cameras and troops on guard are everywhere along the heavily guarded border. In order to gather a plethora of information, intelligence organizations use both sources and cyber capabilities.

However, Israel’s eyes seemed to have been shut in the run-up to a historic assault by the extremist Hamas group, which overthrew Israeli border guards and brought hundreds of militants into Israel to carry out a heinous attack that has killed hundreds and pushed the region toward war.

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Due to a long list of successes, Israel’s intelligence services have developed an air of invincibility over the years. Israel is said to have hunted down Hamas operatives in Dubai, thwarted schemes planted in the West Bank, and killed Iranian nuclear scientists in the country’s interior. Organizations like the Mossad, Shin Bet, and military intelligence have managed to maintain their mystique despite their failures.

However, the weekend’s attack, which caught Israel off surprise on a significant Jewish holiday, casts doubt on that image and prompts concerns about the nation’s readiness in the face of a less powerful but more determined adversary. More than 24 hours later, Israeli forces were still being attacked by Hamas militants within Israeli territory, while dozens of Israelis were being held captive by Hamas in Gaza.

Yaakov Amidror, a former national security advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, declared that “this is a major failure.” “This operation actually shows how poor Gaza’s (intelligence) capabilities were.”

Amidror declined to offer an explanation for the failure, adding that lessons should be learnt after the dust settles.

The chief military spokesperson, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, agreed the public is due an explanation from the army. But he claimed that this moment is not appropriate. He said, “We fight first, then we look into it.

Some claim it is too soon to put the problem primarily on a problem with IQ. They cite the political unrest shaking Israel over moves by Netanyahu’s far-right cabinet to restructure the court as well as a surge of low-level violence in the West Bank that forced some military resources there. The nation’s potent military’s unity is in jeopardy due to the divisive strategy.

However, it’s likely that the primary offender in the series of events that led to the deadliest attack against Israelis in decades would be perceived as the apparent lack of prior knowledge of Hamas’ plot.

In 2005, Israel removed its troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip, robbing it of a direct line to the region’s events. Israel, however, seems to keep its advantage even after Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007, employing both technological and human intelligence.

It alleged to be aware of the exact whereabouts of the Hamas leadership and gave the impression that it had done so by assassinating militant leaders in targeted attacks, often as they slept in their bedrooms. Israel has pinpointed the locations of underground tunnels that Hamas uses to transport fighters and weapons, obliterating miles (or kilometers) of the covert lanes.

Despite having those advantages, Hamas was able to keep their strategy a secret. The brutal assault, which probably required months of careful planning, training, and coordination among numerous armed factions, seemed to slip Israel’s intelligence radar.

Israeli retired general Amir Avivi claimed that since Israel’s security agencies are unable to enter Gaza, they have started to rely more and more on technical methods to gather intelligence. According to him, militants in Gaza have developed strategies to circumvent this technological information gathering, providing Israel with a partial picture of their motivations.

“The other side learned to deal with our technological dominance and they stopped using technology that could expose it,” said Avivi, who worked as a conduit for intelligence information under a former military chief of staff. A hardline organization of ex-military leaders, Avivi is the founder and president of the Israel Defense and Security Forum.

He remarked that terrorists were no longer utilizing phones or computers and were instead conducting crucial business in rooms that were specifically guarded against technological surveillance or going underground. “They’ve gone back to the Stone Age,” he stated.

However, Avivi claimed that the failure goes beyond merely gathering intelligence and that Israel’s security agencies failed to accurately interpret the information they were receiving due to what he claimed was a misunderstanding of the purposes of Hamas.

The security establishment in Israel has come to view Hamas as a political force that wants to rule, grow the economy of Gaza, and raise the standard of living for its 2.3 million residents in recent years. According to Avivi and others, Hamas still views its goal of destroying Israel as its top priority.

Up to 18,000 Palestinian laborers from Gaza have been permitted to work in Israel in recent years by Israel, where they can earn wages that are around ten times higher than those in the impoverished coastal enclave. That carrot was viewed by the security establishment as a means of preserving some quiet.

Amos Harel, a defense pundit, stated in the newspaper Haaretz that “in reality, hundreds, if not thousands, of Hamas members were preparing for a surprise attack for months without that having leaked.” “The effects are disastrous,”

Israel’s allies claimed that security officials were misinterpreting reality.

Without going into further detail, an Egyptian intelligence officer claimed that Egypt, which frequently mediates disputes between Israel and Hamas, had regularly discussed “something big” with Israeli officials.

Israeli officials, he claimed, were concentrating on the West Bank and downplaying the threat from Gaza. The pro-Jewish West Bank settlers who have called for a security crackdown in response to a rising tide of violence there over the past 18 months are represented in Netanyahu’s government.

“We have told them that a massive eruption of the current scenario is coming very soon. But they undervalued such warnings,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to talk to the media about the details of sensitive intelligence discussions.

Netanyahu’s intention to restructure the legal system has likewise troubled and divided Israel. Defense chiefs and numerous past heads of Israel’s intelligence services had repeatedly warned Netanyahu that the contentious proposal was weakening the unity of the nation’s security services.

Internal disagreements over the legislative amendments, according to Martin Indyk, a special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian discussions during the Obama administration, were an aggravating factor that contributed to the Israelis being taken off guard.

He continued, “We think we discovered that that roiled the IDF in a way that was a huge distraction.”

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