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Israeli intelligence was warned about Hamas attack – FT

A detailed report about a possible imminent attack ended up being dismissed as an “imaginary scenario”

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Hamas members transport an abducted Israeli civilian from Kibbutz Kfar Azza into the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

Israeli intelligence received a detailed report on an impending assault by Hamas shortly before the Palestinian militant group’s actual attack on October 7, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing persons familiar with the matter.

The warning, compiled by border sentries, – “many of them female soldiers,” the FT was told– arrived through secure communication lines to the highest-ranking intelligence officer in the southern command a few weeks before the attack, sources said, without identifying the senior security official.

The report contained “specific warnings” on the looming assault, namely Hamas’ plans to breach the border at multiple points, enter Israeli territory and seize local settlements, a person with direct knowledge of its contents told FT.

The assessment was based on intelligence that included videos of Hamas militants in training. The high-ranking intelligence officer who received the report, however, dismissed the assessment as an “imaginary scenario” and no action was taken.

Reached by FT for comment, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the intelligence report and its fate, stating its “commanders and soldiers were exclusively focused strictly” on the battle against Hamas rather than finding those to blame for Israeli failures in the October 7 attack.

“Following the war, a thorough investigation will be conducted to clarify all details,” the IDF told FT.

The new allegations follow a recent report by Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which cited an unnamed Israeli female soldier, who blamed institutionalized sexism in the ranks of the IDF for the lack of attention to reports from its border sentries.

According to the report, female surveillance troops relayed their concerns about unusual Hamas activities months before the incursion. They’d reportedly observed militants engaged in briefings near the border fence, training to disable surveillance cameras and to target Israeli tanks, as well as an increase in drone activity.

“It’s a unit made up entirely of young girls and young female commanders,” the source told Haaretz of the soldiers who’d compiled the warning for their superiors. “There is no doubt that if there were men sitting at those screens, things would look different.”

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