On October 8, shortly after the Hamas attacks on Israel, I wrote an article entitled, "Something's Not Right About The Israel/Hamas War - Could It Lead To Genocide, World War Three?" In that article, I discussed how the official Israeli story, as well as the official Hamas story, simply did not seem to add up. Claims that Hamas, with its deep roots to Israeli intelligence, independently outwitted the Israeli intelligence apparatus in one of the most surveilled areas of the world seemed ominously similar to American claims that Osama bin Laden masterminded the 9/11 attacks from a cave in Afghanistan.
Indeed, in that article I wrote:
Gaza is one of the most surveilled areas of the world. The Israelis are exceptionally good at intelligence gathering and putting that intelligence to use and yet we are supposed to believe there were not enough Israeli intelligence agents on the ground in Palestinian territory to catch wind of such a monumental operation? Anyone who understands geopolitics and has been to the Middle East knows well how powerful and effective Israeli intelligence is in the region.
But, while it may be possible that Hamas did outwit the Israeli intelligence apparatus by using more rudimentary methods of communication, how do we know this now? How did we know the next day? Did Hamas announce its methods or did Israel discover it 24 hours too late? This explanation seems all too neatly sewn and all too quickly delivered to be entirely believable.
Indeed, the attack was able to deliver losses to the Israeli military in direct combat, missiles got past the Iron Dome, and ships escaped discovery. None of these losses are such that the Israeli military is crippled or even damaged beyond a potential perception of weakness but it was all theatrical enough and horrendous enough for civilians to experience that it has been useful to instill fear in the population.
Is it possible that Israel did, in fact, know about the plans to attack before they happened and that the Israeli government allowed it to happen for some reason or other? Is it also possible that the Israelis worked with Hamas to do so?
A recent article by the New York Times entitled "Israel Knew Hamas' Attack Plan More Than A Year Ago," by Ronan Bergman and Adam Goldman has revealed clear evidence that my questions were well placed. Israel did, in fact, know about the Hamas plan in detail long before it ever took place.
Bergman and Goldman write:
Israeli officials obtained Hamas’ battle plan for the Oct. 7 terrorist attack more than a year before it happened, documents, emails and interviews show. But Israeli military and intelligence officials dismissed the plan as aspirational, considering it too difficult for Hamas to carry out.
The approximately 40-page document, which Israeli authorities code-named “Jericho Wall,” outlined, point by point, exactly the kind of devastating invasion that led to the deaths of about 1,200 people.
The translated document, which was reviewed by The New York Times, did not set a date for the attack, but described a methodical assault designed to overwhelm the fortifications around the Gaza Strip, take over Israeli cities and storm key military bases, including a division headquarters.
Hamas followed the blueprint with shocking precision. The document called for a barrage of rockets at the outset of the attack, drones to knock out the security cameras and automated machine guns along the border, and gunmen to pour into Israel en masse in paragliders, on motorcycles and on foot — all of which happened Oct. 7.
The plan also included details about the location and size of Israeli military forces, communication hubs and other sensitive information, raising questions about how Hamas gathered its intelligence and whether there were leaks inside the Israeli security establishment.
The document circulated widely among Israeli military and intelligence leaders, but experts determined that an attack of that scale and ambition was beyond Hamas’ capabilities, according to documents and officials. It is unclear whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or other top political leaders saw the document, as well.
Last year, shortly after the document was obtained, officials in the Israeli military’s Gaza division, which is responsible for defending the border with Gaza, said Hamas’ intentions were unclear.
“It is not yet possible to determine whether the plan has been fully accepted and how it will be manifested,” read a military assessment reviewed by the Times.
Then, in July, just three months before the attacks, a veteran analyst with Unit 8200, Israel’s signals intelligence agency, warned that Hamas had conducted an intense, daylong training exercise that appeared similar to what was outlined in the blueprint.
But a colonel in the Gaza division brushed off her concerns, according to encrypted emails viewed by the Times.
“I utterly refute that the scenario is imaginary,” the analyst wrote in the email exchanges. The Hamas training exercise, she said, fully matched “the content of Jericho Wall.”
“It is a plan designed to start a war,” she added. “It’s not just a raid on a village.”
Officials would not say how they obtained the Jericho Wall document, but it was among several versions of attack plans collected over the years. A 2016 Defense Ministry memorandum viewed by the Times, for example, says, “Hamas intends to move the next confrontation into Israeli territory.”
Such an attack would most likely involve hostage-taking and “occupying an Israeli community (and perhaps even a number of communities),” the memo reads.
The Jericho Wall document, named for the ancient fortifications in the modern-day West Bank, was even more explicit. It detailed rocket attacks to distract Israeli soldiers and send them hurrying into bunkers, and drones to disable the elaborate security measures along the border fence separating Israel and Gaza.
Hamas fighters would then break through 60 points in the wall, storming across the border into Israel. The document begins with a quote from the Quran: “Surprise them through the gate. If you do, you will certainly prevail.”
The same phrase has been widely used by Hamas in its videos and statements since Oct. 7.
One of the most important objectives outlined in the document was to overrun the Israeli military base in Re’im, which is home to the Gaza division responsible for protecting the region. Other bases that fell under the division’s command were also listed.
Hamas carried out that objective Oct. 7, rampaging through Re’im and overrunning parts of the base.
The audacity of the blueprint, officials said, made it easy to underestimate. All militaries write plans that they never use, and Israeli officials assessed that, even if Hamas invaded, it might muster a force of a few dozen, not the hundreds who ultimately attacked.
. . . . .In September 2016, the defense minister’s office compiled a top-secret memorandum based on a much earlier iteration of a Hamas attack plan. The memorandum, which was signed by the defense minister at the time, Avigdor Lieberman, said that an invasion and hostage-taking would “lead to severe damage to the consciousness and morale of the citizens of Israel.”
The memo, which was viewed by the Times, said Hamas had purchased sophisticated weapons, GPS jammers and drones. It also said Hamas had increased its fighting force to 27,000 people — having added 6,000 to its ranks in a two-year period. Hamas had hoped to reach 40,000 by 2020, the memo determined.
But the signs were very clear for anyone to see. Indeed, many intelligence agents, such as the analyst mentioned in Bergman and Goldman's article, not only saw the signs but warned repeatedly that the plans were real and that the upper echelons of the Israeli military and intelligence apparatus were making a mistake by not taking them seriously.
Bergman and Goldman also describe how the Israeli military's Gaza division drafted an intelligence assessment earlier this year reporting that Hamas was planning an organized attack, even writing to other intelligence experts that Hamas had engaged in training exercises for just the kind of attacks as those described in the Jericho Wall document and using the same phrases contained in the document. Bergman and Goldman write:
Last year, after Israel obtained the Jericho Wall document, the military’s Gaza division drafted its own intelligence assessment of this latest invasion plan.
Hamas had “decided to plan a new raid, unprecedented in its scope,” analysts wrote in the assessment reviewed by the Times. It said that Hamas intended to carry out a deception operation followed by a “large-scale maneuver” with the aim of overwhelming the division.
But the Gaza division referred to the plan as a “compass.” In other words, the division determined that Hamas knew where it wanted to go but had not arrived there yet.
On July 6, 2023, the veteran Unit 8200 analyst wrote to a group of other intelligence experts that dozens of Hamas commandos had recently conducted training exercises, with senior Hamas commanders observing.
The training included a dry run of shooting down Israeli aircraft and taking over a kibbutz and a military training base, killing all the cadets. During the exercise, Hamas fighters used the same phrase from the Quran that appeared at the top of the Jericho Wall attack plan, she wrote in the email exchanges viewed by the Times.
The analyst warned that the drill closely followed the Jericho Wall plan, and that Hamas was building the capacity to carry it out.
The colonel in the Gaza division applauded the analysis but said the exercise was part of a “totally imaginative” scenario, not an indication of Hamas’ ability to pull it off.
“In short, let’s wait patiently,” the colonel wrote.
The back-and-forth continued, with some colleagues supporting the analyst’s original conclusion. Soon, she invoked the lessons of the 1973 war, in which Syrian and Egyptian armies overran Israeli defenses. Israeli forces regrouped and repelled the invasion, but the intelligence failure has long served as a lesson for Israeli security officials.
“We already underwent a similar experience 50 years ago on the southern front in connection with a scenario that seemed imaginary, and history may repeat itself if we are not careful,” the analyst wrote to her colleagues.
Whether the Israeli intelligence apparatus ignored the analyst out of hubris or the intention to allow the attacks to happen to justify military operations against Gaza, the end result was the same. Nevertheless, for those who are unaware of just how closely Hamas and the Israeli government are related, it is important to understand the history of Hamas' creation.Who Is Hamas?
On its own soil, Israel has long been documented as creating “fake” al-Qaeda groups to justify its treatment of the Palestinian people.
With that in mind, it is important to note that Israel’s arch nemesis, Hamas, was created by Israel itself for the purpose of splitting the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) and Fatah, the leading outfit for the Palestinian freedom and resistance movement.
Robert Dreyfuss, a veteran journalist for The Nation, even wrote that,
In the decades before 9/11, hard-core activists and organizations among Muslim fundamentalists on the far right were often viewed as allies for two reasons, because they were seen a fierce anti-communists and because the opposed secular nationalists such as Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh.
In Syria, the United States, Israel, and Jordan supported the Muslim Brotherhood in a civil war against Syria. And … Israel quietly backed Ahmed Yassin and the Muslim Brotherhood in the West Bank and Gaza, leading to the establishment of Hamas.
Amid all the howls of pain and gnashing of teeth over the triumph of Hamas in the Palestinian elections, one fact remains relatively obscure, albeit highly relevant: Israel did much to launch Hamas as an effective force in the occupied territories. If ever there was a clear case of “blowback,” then this is it. As Richard Sale pointed out in a piece for UPI:
Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years. Israel ‘aided Hamas directly – the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization),’ said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic [and International] Studies.Israel’s support for Hamas ‘was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative,’ said a former senior CIA official.
Middle East analyst Ray Hanania concurs:
In addition to hoping to turn the Palestinian masses away from Arafat and the PLO, the Likud leadership believed they could achieve a workable alliance with Islamic, anti-Arafat forces that would also extend Israel’s control over the occupied territories.
In a conscious effort to undermine the Palestine Liberation Organization and the leadership of Yasser Arafat, in 1978 the government of then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin approved the application of Sheik Ahmad Yassin to start a “humanitarian” organization known as the Islamic Association, or Mujama. The roots of this Islamist group were in the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, and this was the seed that eventually grew into Hamas – but not before it was amply fertilized and nurtured with Israeli funding and political support.It is important to note here that the Muslim Brotherhood, in addition to this close connection to the predecessor of Hamas and thus Mossad and other forms of Israeli intelligence, also contains close and historical ties to Western intelligence, most notably the British and the American versions.
Begin and his successor, Yitzhak Shamir, launched an effort to undercut the PLO, creating the so-called Village Leagues, composed of local councils of handpicked Palestinians who were willing to collaborate with Israel – and, in return, were put on the Israeli payroll. Sheik Yassin and his followers soon became a force within the Village Leagues. This tactical alliance between Yassin and the Israelis was based on a shared antipathy to the militantly secular and leftist PLO: the Israelis allowed Yassin’s group to publish a newspaper and set up an extensive network of charitable organizations, which collected funds not only from the Israelis but also from Arab states opposed to Arafat.
Ami Isseroff, writing on MideastWeb,shows how the Israelis deliberately promoted the Islamists of the future Hamas by helping them turn the Islamic University of Gaza into a base from which the group recruited activists – and the suicide bombers of tomorrow. As the only higher-education facility in the Gaza strip, and the only such institution open to Palestinians since Anwar Sadat closed Egyptian colleges to them, IUG contained within its grounds the seeds of the future Palestinian state. When a conflict arose over religious issues, however, the Israeli authorities sided with the Islamists against the secularists of the Fatah-PLO mainstream. As Isseroff relates, the Islamists
Encouraged Israeli authorities to dismiss their opponents in the committee in February of 1981, resulting in subsequent Islamisation of IUG policy and staff (including the obligation on women to wear the hijab and thobe and separate entrances for men and women), and enforced by violence and ostracization of dissenters. Tacit complicity from both university and Israeli authorities allowed Mujama to keep a weapons cache to use against secularists. By the mid 1980s, it was the largest university in occupied territories with 4,500 students, and student elections were won handily by Mujama.
Again, the motive was to offset Arafat’s influence and divide the Palestinians. In the short term, this may have worked to some extent; in the longer term, however, it backfired badly – as demonstrated by the results of the recent Palestinian election
Israel’s relentless offensive against its perceived enemies – first Fatah, now Hamas and Islamic Jihad – has created a backlash and solidified support for fundamentalist extremist factions in the Palestinian community.
Still, The Wall Street Journal concurred with Raimondo’s analysis in an article published in 2009. In this article, entitled “How Israel Helped To Spawn Hamas,” Andrew Higgins wrote,
"Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel's creation," says Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Responsible for religious affairs in the region until 1994, Mr. Cohen watched the Islamist movement take shape, muscle aside secular Palestinian rivals and then morph into what is today Hamas, a militant group that is sworn to Israel's destruction.
Instead of trying to curb Gaza's Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat's Fatah. Israel cooperated with a crippled, half-blind cleric named Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, even as he was laying the foundations for what would become Hamas. Sheikh Yassin continues to inspire militants today; during the recent war in Gaza, Hamas fighters confronted Israeli troops with "Yassins," primitive rocket-propelled grenades named in honor of the cleric.
***When Israel first encountered Islamists in Gaza in the 1970s and ’80s, they seemed focused on studying the Quran, not on confrontation with Israel. The Israeli government officially recognized a precursor to Hamas called Mujama Al-Islamiya, registering the group as a charity. It allowed Mujama members to set up an Islamic university and build mosques, clubs and schools. Crucially, Israel often stood aside when the Islamists and their secular left-wing Palestinian rivals battled, sometimes violently, for influence in both Gaza and the West Bank.
When it became clear in the early 1990s that Gaza’s Islamists had mutated from a religious group into a fighting force aimed at Israel — particularly after they turned to suicide bombings in 1994 — Israel cracked down with ferocious force. But each military assault only increased Hamas’s appeal to ordinary Palestinians. The group ultimately trounced secular rivals, notably Fatah, in a 2006 election supported by Israel’s main ally, the U.S.
In Gaza, Israel hunted down members of Fatah and other secular PLO factions, but it dropped harsh restrictions imposed on Islamic activists by the territory’s previous Egyptian rulers.
The Muslim Brotherhood, led in Gaza by Sheikh Yassin, was free to spread its message openly. In addition to launching various charity projects, Sheikh Yassin collected money to reprint the writings of Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian member of the Brotherhood who, before his execution by President Nasser, advocated global jihad. He is now seen as one of the founding ideologues of militant political Islam.
Mr. Cohen, who worked at the time for the Israeli government’s religious affairs department in Gaza, says he began to hear disturbing reports in the mid-1970s about Sheikh Yassin from traditional Islamic clerics. He says they warned that the sheikh had no formal Islamic training and was ultimately more interested in politics than faith. “They said, ‘Keep away from Yassin. He is a big danger,’” recalls Mr. Cohen.
Instead, Israel’s military-led administration in Gaza looked favorably on the paraplegic cleric, who set up a wide network of schools, clinics, a library and kindergartens. Sheikh Yassin formed the Islamist group Mujama al-Islamiya, which was officially recognized by Israel as a charity and then, in 1979, as an association. Israel also endorsed the establishment of the Islamic University of Gaza, which it now regards as a hotbed of militancy.
Gen. Yitzhak Segev, who took over as governor in Gaza in late 1979, says he had no illusions about Sheikh Yassin’s long-term intentions or the perils of political Islam. As Israel’s former military attache in Iran, he’d watched Islamic fervor topple the Shah. However, in Gaza, says Mr. Segev, “our main enemy was Fatah,” and the cleric “was still 100% peaceful” towards Israel. Former officials say Israel was also at the time wary of being viewed as an enemy of Islam.
Mr. Segev says he had regular contact with Sheikh Yassin, in part to keep an eye on him. He visited his mosque and met the cleric around a dozen times. It was illegal at the time for Israelis to meet anyone from the PLO. Mr. Segev later arranged for the cleric to be taken to Israel for hospital treatment. “We had no problems with him,” he says.
In fact, the cleric and Israel had a shared enemy: secular Palestinian activists. After a failed attempt in Gaza to oust secularists from leadership of the Palestinian Red Crescent, the Muslim version of the Red Cross, Mujama staged a violent demonstration, storming the Red Crescent building. Islamists also attacked shops selling liquor and cinemas. The Israeli military mostly stood on the sidelines. [emphasis added]
A leader of Birzeit’s Islamist faction at the time was Mahmoud Musleh, now a pro-Hamas member of a Palestinian legislature elected in 2006. He recalls how usually aggressive Israeli security forces stood back and let conflagration develop. He denies any collusion between his own camp and the Israelis, but says “they hoped we would become an alternative to the PLO.”
A year later, in 1984, the Israeli military received a tip-off from Fatah supporters that Sheikh Yassin’s Gaza Islamists were collecting arms, according to Israeli officials in Gaza at the time. Israeli troops raided a mosque and found a cache of weapons. Sheikh Yassin was jailed. He told Israeli interrogators the weapons were for use against rival Palestinians, not Israel, according to Mr. Hacham, the military affairs expert who says he spoke frequently with jailed Islamists. The cleric was released after a year and continued to expand Mujama’s reach across Gaza. [emphasis added]
Taking into consideration the fact that Israel has provided military and medical support to the most bloodthirsty and brutal Islamic extremist terrorists in the world and the fact that it has created Hamas from the very beginning, the answer to the question of “Why aren't organizations like Nusra, al-Qaeda, and ISIS attacking Israel?” is quite simple – because Israel is partly responsible for funding and directing them.
Israel has made its own enemies by virtue of its colonial nature, its foreign and domestic policy, and even by direct organization and funding. It is thus wholly accurate to say that Israel’s enemies are literally those of its own making.
In the end, the information presented in this article is simply one more window into the realm of the Anglo-European-American-Israeli intelligence apparatus and the depths to which the rabbit hole goes in terms of international terrorism. The script which is being acted out across the Middle East and the rest of the world is clearly being directed by a force unseen by the vast majority of the world’s population.
Still, the players act out their roles according to the predetermined narrative provided to them, despite the fact that they have no idea they are actually acting out the will of a shadowy “other” who does not have their best interests at heart.
In this game, virtually all of those acting out their parts on the ground are merely players unaware of their roles.
Conclusion - Suggestions For Negotiated End To War
At the time of the writing of this article, the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has fallen apart. A few prisoners and hostages have been released but the slaughter will continue. The ceasefire, of course, was only enacted to save Joe Biden's political face in the United States and Netanyahu's in Israel so that both will be able to tout claims of retrieving American and Israeli citizens.
It is difficult to criticize the ceasefire agreement even if the reasons are political in nature. But now the ceasefire is over.The war between Hamas and Israel threaten to bring in more powers besides the two directly fighting, all the way to the point of multinational military conflicts directly in the region and far outside its scope. Already, Hezbollah and Israel are trading rocket fire on the border. Hezbollah is backed by Iran which, predictably, is a connection Israel and its acolytes will seize upon in order to justify military conflict with Iran and claims that Iran is ultimately behind the current conflict, thus bringing in the United States to do the heavy lifting.
Interestingly enough, the spokesman for Hamas has already told the BBC that Iran gave its support to the organization for the operation that was just launched. It is unusual for combatants to openly volunteer the names of their financial backers but, conveniently for those who want to demonize Iran and blame it for the new war, Hamas has come through with flying colors.
Iran's side of the story is currently unknown. Perhaps it did support the operation and perhaps it did not. Both possibilities are realistic but neither of them will matter in the West where the Western media has already drawn the logical conclusion - Iran is responsible for the attacks in Israel.
The current Israeli war is already spilling across borders but, if it is not contained immediately, will risk bringing in Lebanon, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, Egypt, the United States, NATO, and Russia. Yemen's Houthis have already declared war on Israel and have launched multiple missile attacks against Israeli territory. In addition, a wider war will bring in the gangs and hordes of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists the West and GCC have sponsored across the Middle East.
Western powers must stay out of the Israeli/Hamas war. Both the United States and Russia (though it will likely only become involved as a result of US involvement) must show the utmost restraint in this regard.