Tel Aviv : Hamas had initially planned its October 7 cross-border onslaught for the eve of Passover, but cancelled the attack after Israel raised the alert level, Israeli media reported.
Military intelligence caught the early signs of an attack on Passover, which this year fell on April 5, and raised the alert, leading Hamas to cancel and the IDF to consider the incident a false alarm, Channel 12 reported, citing unnamed soldiers in the IDF’s 8200 signal intelligence unit, Times of Israel reported.
In the period after that attempt, Hamas, fearing it had Israeli informants in its ranks, raised its internal security and kept most of its members unaware of subsequent plans and of the new timing for the incursion, the report said, Times of Israel reported.
On the morning of October 7, on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, some 3,000 Hamas militants burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea, killing some 1,200 people and seizing over 240 hostages of all ages under the cover of a deluge of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities. Nearly 50 of the hostages have since been released, including 26 women and children as part of a Qatar-led deal, and 15 foreign nationals.
The exposé on the planned Passover attack followed several others in the past month that revealed IDF intelligence on a possible invasion, including reports filed by surveillance soldiers on the Gaza border who detailed unusual Hamas training exercises three months before October 7.
Soldiers in the 8200 unit reportedly warned senior officers before the October 7 atrocities that Hamas was preparing a highly organised and meticulously planned mass invasion of Israel, but were told their concerns were “fantasies”, Times of Israel reported.
A senior and experienced non-commissioned officer as well as a junior officer in 8200 alerted senior IDF officers well in advance that a major operation was being planned by Hamas, but their warnings went unheeded. — IANS