Hamas's Deception: Shocking Assault on Israel
"Hamas's Elaborate Deception: How They Took Israel by Surprise in a Devastating Attack"
In a meticulously planned campaign of deception, Hamas caught Israel off guard with a devastating assault that involved a force using bulldozers, hang gliders, and motorbikes against the Middle East's most powerful army. This Saturday's assault marked the worst breach in Israel's defenses since the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and followed two years of subterfuge by Hamas, during which they kept their military plans hidden and convinced Israel that they sought no conflict.
Hamas employed an unprecedented intelligence tactic to mislead Israel, giving the impression that they were not ready for a confrontation while secretly preparing for a massive operation. Israel believed it was containing a war-weary Hamas by providing economic incentives to Gazan workers, unaware that Hamas fighters were training and drilling in plain sight.
One of the most striking aspects of their preparations involved constructing a mock Israeli settlement in Gaza, where they practiced military landings and storming. They even made videos of these maneuvers. Israel saw these activities but was convinced that Hamas did not want to engage in a confrontation.
Hamas aimed to convey that its primary concern was ensuring jobs for Gazan workers rather than starting a new war. This impression was strengthened when Hamas refrained from military operations against Israel, while another Gaza-based armed group, Islamic Jihad, launched its own assaults or rocket attacks.
Israel was caught off guard by an attack timed to coincide with the Jewish Sabbath and a religious holiday. Hamas fighters stormed into Israeli towns, killing 700 Israelis and abducting dozens.
The operation involved an intricate plan divided into four parts. It began with a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza, coinciding with incursions by fighters using hang gliders or motorized paragliders. Once on the ground, they secured the terrain for an elite commando unit to storm Israel's fortified electronic and cement wall. Fighters used explosives to breach the barriers and crossed on motorbikes, with bulldozers further widening the gaps.
A commando unit attacked the Israeli army's southern Gaza headquarters and jammed its communications, preventing personnel from calling commanders or each other. The final part involved moving hostages to Gaza, primarily achieved early in the attack.
Hamas exploited Israel's distraction due to violence in the West Bank, leading to a "thin, under-prepared presence in the south," according to Dennis Ross, a former Middle East negotiator.
Retired General Yaakov Amidror, former national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, characterized the assault as "a huge failure of the intelligence system and the military apparatus in the south" and stressed Israel's determination to confront Hamas.