Hamas carefully prepares for the attack on Israel, drawing detailed maps of targets and learning about enemy weapons weaknesses.
Israeli soldiers and rescue forces recovered many documents from the scene of the Hamas attacks on October 7 and the bodies of the gunmen. The documents, written in Arabic, include detailed maps of towns and military bases targeted by Hamas.
On October 7, Hamas launched thousands of rockets and conducted a coordinated raid by land, sea and paragliding into Israeli territory, surprising Tel Aviv and suffering heavy damage.
Documents show that Hamas, from the beginning, planned to attack residential areas to kidnap hostages, not just military targets. They also proved that Hamas has carefully prepared for the campaign, especially regarding intelligence.
“They know exactly what their goals are,” said Michael Milshtein, a former Israeli intelligence officer who heads the Palestinian Studies Forum at Tel Aviv University. “Hamas has never planned at this level in the past.”
A 14-page document, dated June 15 and labeled “top secret,” Hamas’s plan to reveal the Mefalsim settlement in southern Israel.
According to the document, the operation will be carried out by two teams, each consisting of 5 members, with one person acting as commander at “hour S, day Y.” Inside, the document contains a map and aerial photos of the settlement, along with information that this location has 1,000 residents, guarded by a volunteer security force.
The document warned that Israeli soldiers stationed nearby could reach Mefalsim “in just 3-5 minutes”. According to instructions, one team was responsible for creating holes in the security fence; the other team provided fire support. After successfully penetrating, Hamas gunmen will take those inside as hostages “for negotiations.”
In the attack on October 7, Mefalsim was one of the targets targeted by Hamas. However, reality did not happen as Hamas expected; the Mefalsim volunteer security force successfully repelled the enemy and suffered no human losses. Nearby settlements were not so lucky, with many people murdered or kidnapped.
According to former Israeli security officer Eyal Pinko, the plan to infiltrate Mefalsim shows Hamas’s “sophisticated and systematic” intelligence capabilities, as well as how the armed group distributes manpower and uses information collected from public sources and through cyber attacks.
The group of Hamas gunmen who attacked the town of Ofakim near the Gaza Strip also carried many intelligence documents, according to Israeli parliamentarian Almog Cohen, who lives here. The map obtained from the body of a gunman shows that this group clearly knew important locations in the town.
“Crowded areas, churches and kindergartens are all marked on the map. Many other details also show that they have planned very carefully,” Cohen said, adding that the documents were transferred. handed over to Israeli agents.
Some documents obtained from Hamas also contain sensitive information about Israeli weapons, including the weakness of the main Merkava tank line. The document recommends using RPG-7 anti-tank guns or other direct aiming weapons to attack Merkava tanks from a distance of 50 meters.
At least one Merkava has been destroyed by Hamas since the beginning of the fighting, while the actual number may be higher, according to statistics based on photos and videos on social networks.
Another document contains many images of eight types of Israeli armored personnel carriers, with instructions on how to deal with them, such as what type of explosives to use and what part to target.
On October 12, Abu Obaida, spokesman for Hamas’s armed wings, revealed that this force had been preparing for the October 7 campaign two years ago. “We have carefully studied Israel’s tactics and strategies. The results have been better than we expected,” the official said.
This is the first time in more than 70 years that Israels have witnessed enemy gunmen driving through the streets, shooting at civilians, directly attacking military bases and occupying settlements. It is estimated that more than 1,300 Israeli civilians and soldiers were killed after nearly 6 days of fighting, in addition to thousands of others injured. Hamas kidnapped about 150 hostages, including Israelis and foreigners.
Hamas’s large-scale attack campaign caused Israel’s famous Mossad intelligence force to receive a lot of criticism from public opinion.
Khaled Elgindy, an expert at the Middle East Institute in the US, emphasized that this was a “catastrophic failure” in terms of Israel’s intelligence and organization. He said that Hamas had been planning and preparing for the operation “right in front of” Tel Aviv for a long time, but this country’s intelligence was “completely unaware”.
Efraim Halevy, former head of the Mossad, said that the scale of the attack alone with more than 4,000 rockets by Hamas on the first day of the war “went beyond imagination”. He revealed that the leadership in Tel Aviv never thought that Hamas possessed such a large number of rockets, and also never predicted that these weapons could operate so effectively.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Commander Herzi Halevi on October 12 admitted that the IDF had “failed to complete its mission”, pledging to find out and investigate the cause of the failure, but said that “now is the time to Concentrate on the war “.