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9 Oct, 2023 11:04

Egypt says Israel ignored repeated warnings – AP

A source within Egyptian intelligence has claimed that Israeli security services underestimated the threat from Hamas
Egypt says Israel ignored repeated warnings – AP

Egypt warned Israeli officials that Hamas was planning “something big” before the Palestinian militant group launched a major attack at the weekend, an intelligence source in Cairo has told the Associated Press.  

The source claimed that despite the warning of trouble brewing in Gaza, Israeli officials instead focused on the West Bank, as most of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is made up of supporters of West Bank settlers who have demanded a security crackdown in the area.  

“We have warned them an explosion of the situation is coming, and very soon, and it would be big. But they underestimated such warnings,” the intelligence source said.  

Egypt has often served as a mediator between Israel and Hamas. 

The AP noted that the Israeli government has also been distracted by rifts over Netanyahu’s controversial judicial overhaul plans. The prime minister reportedly ignored repeated warnings from defense chiefs that the initiative was sowing discord among the Israeli security services. 

The situation that unfolded in Gaza has been viewed as a catastrophic failure for Israel’s intelligence services, which were previously believed to have eyes and ears throughout the Palestinian exclave.  

Yaakov Amidror, a former security adviser to Netanyahu, told the Times of Israel that “this operation [by Hamas] actually proves that the [intelligence] abilities in Gaza were no good.” 

Military officials have also admitted that the army must explain to the public how the assault was allowed to take place. However, chief military spokesman Daniel Hagari has insisted that “first, we fight, then we investigate.” 

The latest escalation between Hamas and Israel began early on Saturday, when the Palestinian resistance group launched a surprise attack on multiple locations along the Gaza border. Militants overran several military installations and infiltrated deep into Israeli territory, attacking multiple settlements and launching thousands of rockets. Israeli officials have estimated that over 700 people have been killed in the Hamas assault and over 2,200 have been wounded. 

In response, Israel has launched massive airstrikes on Gaza and is apparently preparing a ground operation against the Palestinian exclave. Troops have been redeployed en masse to the south of the country and a call-up of military reservists has been announced. Israel officially declared a state of war on Sunday, invoking Article 40 of its Basic Law.