Israeli officials obtained a document describing Hamas’ battle plan for its October 7 terror attack more than a year before the militant group carried out the assault, the New York Times reported Thursday, citing documents, emails and interviews.
The roughly 40-page document did not give a date for the attack, but outlined “point by point” the kind of deadly incursion that Hamas carried out in Israeli territory in October, according to the Times, which reviewed the translated document.
Israeli military and intelligence officials dismissed the plan, assessing that it would be too difficult for Hamas to carry out, according to the Times.
The document, which the Israeli authorities code-named “Jericho Wall,” detailed an assault that would overwhelm fortifications around the Gaza Strip, take over Israeli cities and target key military bases. It was followed with precision by Hamas on October 7, the Times said.
On that day, Hamas militants struck across the border from Gaza in a coordinated assault taking more than 200 hostages and killing around 1,200 people – the largest such attack on Israel since the country’s founding in 1948.
The attack was widely seen a major Israeli intelligence failure, with a number of top defense and security officials coming forward in October to take responsibility to some extent for missteps that led to the attacks.
Later that month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received sharp public criticism after he accused security chiefs in a later-deleted social media post of failing to warn him about the impending attack.
“On the contrary, all the defense officials … assessed that Hamas was deterred,” Netanyahu wrote at the time.
According to the Times, the “Jericho Wall” document was circulated widely among Israeli military and intelligence leaders, but it was unclear whether Netanyahu or other top political leaders saw the document.