Here’s How Hamas Fooled Israel

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The question as to how Hamas conducted a daring raid turned terrorist attack has been puzzling intelligence analysts. New reports reveal that Hamas conducted a sophisticated counterintelligence gambit that made Israel believe the threat was elsewhere.

Hamas fed intelligence to Israel on Islamic Jihad, an even more radical group that kept targeting Israel during lulls in the fighting. In addition to focusing Israel’s attention, this enabled Hamas to solidify control against a weakened Palestinian rival faction. The Times of Israel reports:

As part of its long-term plans to lull Israel into thinking it did not want conflict, the Hamas terror group even gave Israel intelligence on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, The Washington Post reports.

The report, citing an unnamed Israeli security official, says that Hamas “provided Israel with intelligence on PIJ to reinforce the impression that they were interested in collaboration.”

Knowing they were under heavy surveillance, Hamas terrorists trained in secret and issued conmmunications verbally. Still, there were some signs of activity that were noticed by some Israelis that were later ignored by higher ups. Yahoo News says:

A Guardian report in early November revealed that Hamas leaders who had planned the attack took special measures to avoid being detected by Israeli intelligence, including passing orders only by word of mouth, rather than by radio or internet communication. But Hamas’ planning did not totally escape detection.

The Times of Israel reported in late October that Israeli troops of the Combat Intelligence Corps surveilling the Israel-Gaza border months before Oct. 7 saw Hamas militants digging holes, placing explosives, training frequently and even practicing blowing up a mock fence. Their warnings were ignored. The Financial Times reported in early November that Israeli security leaders had also ignored specific alerts of Hamas training exercises from civilian volunteers in southern Israel who eavesdropped on Hamas communications.

While the United States ultimately failed in its war against the Taliban, it dominated the battlefield for 20 years across the Middle East. However, America’s enemies learned valuable lessons in military and intelligence operations. Hamas is no longer a mob of angry militants but a well oiled machine using sophisticated tactics and procedures. Israel will have to contend with this even if it manages to military occupy the whole Gaza Strip.

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