Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7 featured “a level of detail and preparation” that surprised Israeli military analysts. This was revealed by documents and data recovered from Palestinian fighters and exposed to the press on Monday.
Mobile phones, laptops, GPS, GoPro cameras, walkie-talkies, maps and other documents “They show years of preparation to attack kibbutzim and military bases. It is a battle plan,” explained an Israeli intelligence officer.
On October 7, Hundreds of fighters from the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas entered southern Israel, killing more than 1,200 people and kidnapping about 240, according to Israeli authorities. Among the dead were more than 300 soldiers.
To immerse yourself in the numerous documents in Arabic and decipher the millions of electronic data and then separate the essential from the incidental, Israel reactivated a unit called Amshat after that attack (the acronym for “Enemy Document and Technical Material Recovery Department”).
This unit, linked to Israeli military intelligence, was born after the Arab-Israeli war of 1973, also triggered by a surprise attack, then by Egypt and Syria, attributed to a fiasco by the Israeli spy service.
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Since then, Amshat has been deactivated and activated several times.
The American newspaper The New York Times stated on December 1 that More than a year before the attack, Israeli military intelligence obtained a document detailing a similar operation point by point. to the one perpetrated on October 7, but considered it an “imaginary” scenario.
But when analyzing the data collected after that day, “What has surprised me the most is the level of detail and preparation” of the operation, the intelligence officer said during a presentation to journalists, including one from AFP.
(You can read: Israeli Army expands its ground operations towards the south of the Gaza Strip)
Planning attacks on kibbutzim
In the computers they found very detailed tactical plans, with a report of the objectives, the names of the units deployed and their members, the mission assigned to each of them (assault, support…) with operational details, a precise schedule and a list of the necessary weapons.
They also found a detailed hand drawing of the military outpost in Nahal Oz, occupied by Hamas on the day of the attack. On the killed Palestinian fighters there were satellite photos and precise maps of the attacked kibbutzim.
The officer does not doubt that the information about the kibbutzim came from inside, from “Palestinian employees or Israeli Arabs.” “For the (Nahal Oz) military base, we don’t know. But it doesn’t come from an open source,” he added.
The information found also shows that “a part of the training was about how to take hostages. Documents show what to do and how to take charge,” explains another intelligence officer.
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Among the dead militiamen they discovered a “to-do list” about the kidnapping of hostages and a “conversation guide” with them.
The task list, seen by AFP, includes “covering the eyes and tying the hands of all adult hostages (men and women),” “searching the place of detention and the clothes of the hostages” or “kill those who cause problems and those who try to escape.
The “conversation guide” includes around fifty “important” expressions in Hebrew, transcribed phonetically to address the hostages: “don’t move”, “come”, “hands in the air, spread your legs”, “lie down”, ” shut up”, “hurry up”, “get up”, “calm down”, “men here, women here, children here”, among others.
(Also: Hamas says it will not exchange any more hostages until the war in Gaza ends)
Orders to kill civilians
Other documents suggest that the militants had instructions to kill civilians, according to these officials. “They wanted to create such a commotion that it would break the morale” of the Israelis, one of them said.
Surprisingly, Israeli agents also found documents not linked to the October 7 operation, some of them with significant military value.
“Some Hamas fighters were left in ignorance and did not know what was going to happen. Many entered Israel with things unrelated to the operation. Some used the vehicles they used daily” and that contained very valuable information, the second officer said. .
Among them is a detailed map of southern Gaza where Hamas military facilities can be identified.
(Keep reading: What the Israeli children kidnapped by Hamas experienced)
Since the October 7 attack, Israel has launched intense bombings on Gaza and a ground offensive since October 27 that has left almost 16,000 dead in this territory, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.
Amshat said he had obtained images of the Gaza tunnels, although he did not want to reveal their origin. Shown to journalists, they show impressive corridors, reinforced with concrete and metal, wide and high enough to allow the passage of a vehicle.
They are “very deep” tunnels, “all of Gaza is a network of tunnels” and “I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more than 500 km,” explained the first officer. “Imagine how many hostages they can put inside and then move them around,” he added.
In this set of intelligence obtained, “there are things that we knew and others that are new,” he said. “They give us kilos and we have to find a nugget of gold in them,” he said.
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