Army: We'll conduct thorough probe when war is over

Reports: Senior IDF officer dismissed pre-Oct. 7 intel on Hamas invasion as ‘fantasy’

Two lower level officers in IDF’s elite intelligence Unit 8200 outlined a mass invasion one month before onslaught; top officers also waved off manual showing plans for onslaught

Hamas members pictured at the border a month before the terror group's October 7 onslaught (screenshot used in accordance with clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Hamas members pictured at the border a month before the terror group's October 7 onslaught (screenshot used in accordance with clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Soldiers in the IDF’s prestigious 8200 signal intelligence unit reportedly warned senior officers before the October 7 atrocities that Hamas was preparing a highly organized and meticulously planned mass invasion of Israel but were told their concerns were “fantasies.”

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, according to Thursday reports on Channel 12 and the Kan public broadcaster.

The exposés piled onto several others from the past month that revealed other information the IDF had on a possible Hamas invasion, including reports filed by IDF surveillance soldiers based on the Gaza border who detailed unusual Hamas training exercises three months before October 7.

According to Channel 12’s report on Thursday, the NCO in Unit 8200 put together a report from an array of raw intelligence data detailing a scenario that essentially predicted the October 7 invasion.

She, together with the junior officer, also pointed to a Hamas drill a month before the Hamas attack, noting that it included preparations for a mass invasion with multiple entry points into Israel.

The two presented their concerns to a senior IDF officer — although not one from 8200 — who dismissed their warnings as “fantasies” and failed to act on the information, Channel 12 said.

Hamas terrorists beneath an IDF post at the Israel-Gaza border fence on October 7, 2023 (Kan TV screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

“They were told in real-time. There were so many things that should have set off red lights,” an unnamed source from Unit 8200 told the network.

Kan reported similar details, noting that the non-commissioned officer stated that the Hamas drill included the use of vehicles to carry out the attack and practiced taking over Israeli towns. The NCO also warned that the assault Hamas was planning was on such a large scale that it could spark an all-out war.

The senior officer briefed by the NCO reportedly agreed that the information she had was substantive, but said a distinction needed to be made between what Hamas could drill for and what it could accomplish in reality.

Separately, Kan reported that before October 7, the IDF had come into possession of a Hamas terror manual that described how to conquer the Gaza border region in southern Israel.

The manual described taking over IDF positions, capturing kibbutzim and towns in the region, killing and kidnapping residents, and attacking and conquering the three regional cities of Sderot, Ofakim and Netivot.

It described how pick-up trucks would be used to stage the invasion, along with motorbikes and hang-gliders as well as with the use of anti-tank missiles under the cover of rocket and mortar fire from Gaza — in the same way that events unfolded on October 7.

The manual also described a strategy to lull Israel into complacency by holding negotiations for some form of long-term arrangement with Hamas, while at the same time staging frequent drills and carrying out small security incidents on the border on Saturdays and Jewish holidays to lull the IDF into a false sense of security when Hamas forces turned up en masse at the border fence.

The plan was drilled with two companies of Hamas’s elite Nukhba force, which was responsible for the October 7 attacks, and included conquering an imitation kibbutz.

Kan reported that the plans detailed in the manual were passed along to senior ranks in the IDF who dismissed them on the grounds that Hamas did not have the operational capabilities to carry out such an attack.

Responding to the report, the IDF said it was “operating and fighting in these very days against the murderous terror organization Hamas in the Gaza strip. All of the [IDF’s] commanders and soldiers are focused on this mission alone in order to complete the goals of the war. When the war is finished, a detailed and thorough investigation will be conducted clarifying every last detail.”

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