IDF chief says ground operation in south Gaza has already begun, will ‘bring results’
Hamas prepared an operational plan in 2016 for a mass infiltration of southern Israel, including attacks on towns and kibbutzim and mass abductions, Channel 12 news reports.
The plan was obtained by the IDF’s Military Intelligence branch in March 2018, the report says.
The October 2016 plan provided for the destruction of the IDF’s Gaza Brigade’s base at Re’im, the invasion of the border town of Sderot and of several Gaza-envelope kibbutzim, and the abduction of large numbers of people — all of which it carried out on October 7, the unsourced report says.
The plan, which specified that the invasion would be carried out in autumn, also reportedly featured several elements that were not implemented in the terror group’s devastating onslaught eight weeks ago, including retaining captured territory for an undefined period and activating “sleeper cells” in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Israel at the time was working on an underground barrier intended to prevent Hamas tunneling into Israel, the TV report notes, while Hamas was already working on plans for a mass attack through the border fence.
In the almost two months since 3,000 Hamas-led terrorists burst through the border, slaughtered 1,200 people and took some 240 hostages, multiple reports have indicated that Israel’s security hierarchies had considerable intel and other material pointing to a major Hamas attack, and that an array of warnings from surveillance soldiers, intelligence officers and others were ignored and derided, while the military top brass assessed that Hamas was deterred and not seeking hostilities against Israel.