Thanks to a New York Times story, "Israel Knew Hamas's Attack Plan Over a Year Ago," the astounding incompetence of the right-wing Netanyahu administration is now even clearer -- though it was on full display before the news broke about Israel's failure to blunt or stop the Hamas attack even though it knew exactly how it would take place.
Hopefully this will be another nail in the coffin of Netanyahu's ambition to use his position as Prime Minister to avoid being convicted of several serious offenses by subverting Israeli democracy through a takeover of the judicial system by his allies in Parliament.
If that sounds familiar, it should. Because while Netanyahu is smarter and a better speaker than Donald Trump, they have a lot in common. Each man is much more interested in being in power than in doing what is best for their country.
Netanyahu and his far right cabinet were so preoccupied with controlling the Israeli legal system and making the West Bank a haven for illegal settlements on Palestinian land, they failed to heed the warnings of their country's intelligence analysts that Hamas was planning an attack across the Gaza border.
I'm assuming that those warnings were passed on to cabinet officials and Netanyahu himself. If not, that fact is equally damning, since it shows that high ranking government officials had set up a system where only intelligence findings that fit their right wing political beliefs made its way to them.
The details of this debacle are in the New York Times story, which you should be able to read in full, as I've gifted the story via my online subscription. Here's how it starts out.
Israeli officials obtained Hamas’s battle plan for the Oct. 7 terrorist attack more than a year before it happened, documents, emails and interviews show. But Israeli military and intelligence officials dismissed the plan as aspirational, considering it too difficult for Hamas to carry out.
The approximately 40-page document, which the Israeli authorities code-named “Jericho Wall,” outlined, point by point, exactly the kind of devastating invasion that led to the deaths of about 1,200 people.
The translated document, which was reviewed by The New York Times, did not set a date for the attack, but described a methodical assault designed to overwhelm the fortifications around the Gaza Strip, take over Israeli cities and storm key military bases, including a division headquarters.
Hamas followed the blueprint with shocking precision. The document called for a barrage of rockets at the outset of the attack, drones to knock out the security cameras and automated machine guns along the border, and gunmen to pour into Israel en masse in paragliders, on motorcycles and on foot — all of which happened on Oct. 7.
The plan also included details about the location and size of Israeli military forces, communication hubs and other sensitive information, raising questions about how Hamas gathered its intelligence and whether there were leaks inside the Israeli security establishment.
The document circulated widely among Israeli military and intelligence leaders, but experts determined that an attack of that scale and ambition was beyond Hamas’s capabilities, according to documents and officials. It is unclear whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or other top political leaders saw the document, as well.
Last year, shortly after the document was obtained, officials in the Israeli military’s Gaza division, which is responsible for defending the border with Gaza, said that Hamas’s intentions were unclear.
“It is not yet possible to determine whether the plan has been fully accepted and how it will be manifested,” read a military assessment reviewed by The Times.
Then, in July, just three months before the attacks, a veteran analyst with Unit 8200, Israel’s signals intelligence agency, warned that Hamas had conducted an intense, daylong training exercise that appeared similar to what was outlined in the blueprint.
But a colonel in the Gaza division brushed off her concerns, according to encrypted emails viewed by The Times.
“I utterly refute that the scenario is imaginary,” the analyst wrote in the email exchanges. The Hamas training exercise, she said, fully matched “the content of Jericho Wall.”
“It is a plan designed to start a war,” she added. “It’s not just a raid on a village.”
Officials privately concede that, had the military taken these warnings seriously and redirected significant reinforcements to the south, where Hamas attacked, Israel could have blunted the attacks or possibly even prevented them.