Israeli intelligence aware of plans for Hamas massacre a year before attacks: report

The New York Times obtained a report that revealed Israeli officials were aware Hamas was planning an attack of some sort, although they were skeptical that the militant group had the means to carry it out.

Israeli authorities code-named the 40-page document "Jericho Wall" which detailed a "methodical assault designed to overwhelm the fortifications around the Gaza Strip, take over Israeli cities and storm key military bases, including a division headquarters" as reported by The Times, much of which was followed through on October 7.

The document chillingly began with a quote from the Quran: “Surprise them through the gate. If you do, you will certainly prevail.”

It also revealed Hamas' plans to invade Israel via paragliders, motorcycles, and on foot. The blueprint, however, did not specify a date that this type of sophisticated attack would take place. Nor did Israeli officials ever believe the terrorists would be capable of it.

According to The Jerusalem Post, Israeli leadership from 2021 to the end of 2022 "all held the same mistaken concept that Hamas could be contained, deterred, and kept in check by a mix of economic incentives and occasional rounds of airstrikes."

A military assessment reviewed by The Times read: “It is not yet possible to determine whether the plan has been fully accepted and how it will be manifested."

These officials included five IDF chiefs of staff, defense ministers, IDF intelligence chiefs, four Shin Bet directors, and then-prime minister Naftali Bennet and opposition party leader Yair Lapid. Current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was absent from office at this time during an 18-month hiatus. It is unclear if he ever saw the Jericho Wall document himself.

The blueprint also included specific details surrounding the Israeli military, which has raised questions about possible leaks within the Israeli security forces.

In the months leading up to the October 7 attack, both The Jerusalem Post and The New York Times reveal that a female officer in the IDF's Intelligence Unit 8200, referred to as Officer "V," vehemently warned her superiors that Hamas had been practicing military exercises similar to what had been revealed in the Jericho Wall blueprint.

The Post predicts that her direct superior officer, a colonel in the Gaza division, will be seen as one of the primary people who failed to prevent the massacre. He reportedly remains in IDF Intelligence.

Responding to his claims that her warnings were "totally imaginative," V replied via email: “I utterly refute that the scenario is imaginary."

The Hamas training, she said, was what was detailed in "the content of Jericho Wall."

She had allegedly intercepted communication among Hamas forces talking about slaughtering the civilians inhabiting southern Israel villages.

“It is a plan designed to start a war,” she added. “It’s not just a raid on a village.”

“We already underwent a similar experience 50 years ago on the southern front in connection with a scenario that seemed imaginary, and history may repeat itself if we are not careful,” the analyst wrote, reminding her colleagues of the 1973 war in which Syrian and Egyptian armies overran Israeli defenses.

“In short, let’s wait patiently,” the colonel wrote.

The Post learned that meetings were eventually held between the colonel and V in September, which resulted in the conclusion that the attack V warned of could still be months away and it was unclear why Hamas would suddenly launch an attack of this proportion.

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