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Israeli army says it had indication of Hamas attack

Israeli army says it had indication of Hamas attack on southern Israel
3 min read
12 October, 2023
The confirmation comes after a US congressman stated that Egyptian intelligence had warned Israel of an impending attack by Hamas three days before it happened
At least 1,300 Israelis and 1,417 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the war between Hamas and Israel [Getty]

An Israeli army spokesperson admitted Thursday that the military had intelligence that indicated a Hamas operation against Israel prior to Saturday's massive Hamas assault on southern Israel.

Brigadier General Daniel Hagari told reporters that "there were some indications, but nothing could have warned of an attack at that scope."

The Israeli military had thought that the movement of Hamas fighters was because of a military exercise, and not the start of an operation.

Saturday's unprecedented attack by Hamas, named 'Operation al-Aqsa Flood', on southern Israel overran Israeli military bases along the Gaza border, as well as several Israeli settlements.

At least 1,300 Israelis have died since the start of the operation, with most being killed during Saturday's attack. Israel's subsequent bombardment of the Gaza strip, under the title 'Operation Iron Swords', has killed 1,417 Palestinians, including over 350 children.

The admission comes after US Congressman Michael McCaul stated that Israel had received forewarning from Egypt prior to Hamas' attack on southern Israel, following a US intelligence brief to the US House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

The Texan congressman, who is the chair of the committee, spoke to reporters on Wednesday saying, "We know that Egypt has warned the Israelis three days prior that an event like this could happen."

"I don't want to get too much into classified [details], but a warning was given. I think the question was at what level," he added. He also stated that it was unclear how the US and Israel were unable to pre-empt the attack.

However, his comments were labelled as "exaggerated" by a US official who spoke to Israel Hayom, adding that "there was no concrete warning, and certainly nothing resembling an attack on the scale we saw."

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There has been a flurry of reports that claim Egypt attempted to warn Israel of an upcoming attack by Hamas.

According to al-Monitor, Egyptian intelligence officials had warned their Israeli counterparts of a soon-to-be-conducted Hamas assault on Israel, although this information was not shared with Netanyahu.

The Financial Times also reported that Egypt relayed concerns to Israel that the situation in Gaza could "explode," while the Associated Press quoted Egyptian officials who told them that "we have warned them an explosion of the situation is coming, and very soon, and it would be big. But they underestimated such warnings."