An intelligence official from Egypt has claimed Jerusalem ignored the country’s repeated warnings that Hamas was planning “something big.”
He further revealed that Cairo’s intelligence minister sent a direct notice to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, informing him of potential dangers.
However, Israeli officials reportedly played down the threat from Gaza as they were too focused on the West Bank.
“We have warned them an explosion of the situation is coming, and very soon, and it would be big,” the unnamed Egyptian intel official told the Associated Press. “But they underestimated such warnings.”
In his address to the nation Monday night, Netanyahu denied that his office received such warnings, calling the story “fake news.”
Israel Intel Capability Questioned
Israel’s ability to gather military intelligence has been questioned following the surprise attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas last Saturday.
The country failed to anticipate and prepare for the unprecedented attack from the blockaded Gaza Strip that left hundreds of people dead.
Although it is still unclear how Hamas was able to conduct the attack, several military analysts believe that Israel’s intelligence units will face hard questions on why they did not see it coming.
“I would imagine there will be a very, very major and deep-rooted inquiry,” Middle East Forum researcher Jonathan Spyer told Breaking Defense. “And I assume heads will roll, because what just happened is a very, very major event.”
Hamas’ surprise assault happened despite Jerusalem investing billions in state-of-the-art systems, including “smart” security fences to detect underground threats, aerostats for observation and detection, and robots to monitor nearby hostile movements.
“Over reliance on tech always has its drawbacks,” Middle East Institute senior fellow Bilal Saab told the outlet. “But the problem here wasn’t tech. There was a failure of imagination, first and foremost, and total disrespect of the opponent.”
‘A Major Failure’
Israel Defense Forces spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari admitted that the military owes the public an explanation as to why they appeared caught off guard by the assault.
However, he said now is not the time to explain as Israeli soldiers need to focus on repelling and countering the attacks.
For Yaakov Amidror, a former national security adviser to Prime Minister Netanyahu, the recent happenings in Israel can be considered “a major failure.”
“This operation actually proves that the [intelligence] abilities in Gaza were no good,” he said.