Hamas attack planned for over a year
Fresh evidence from materials such as maps, notes, drawings and weapons collated from slain militants describe the intention of Hamas to carry out strikes at even a larger proportion into the Israeli territory on October 7 with an aim to force Israel to flare up an overwhelming response leading to a wider conflict in the Middle East.
The Washington Post reported citing security officials from several countries that Hamas militants were prepared to penetrate even further into Israel, as far as the eastern border up to the West Bank, striking larger cities following the success of the first wave of attacks.
Evidence collected from slain militants earlier highlighted notes scribbled in their notebooks including Quranic verses as well as orders that read, “Kill as many people and take as many hostages as possible.” They succeeded in carrying out mass slaughter in at least 22 villages after breaching the Israeli border in around 30 places, drawing the Israeli military for a day-long gun battle.
According to the preliminary intelligence findings, some militants had instructions to continue deeper into Israel and they were found to have enough food and ammunition for the operation.
The intelligence officials found that Hamas chalked out meticulous plans in a way that would compel Israel to carry out ground incursions into Gaza. They said Hamas was prepared to accept civilian deaths, terming it as paying the price in order to hindering the normalisation efforts between Israel and Arab nations and for a greater Palestinian cause.
The Post further reported that the assault of October 7 was a result of meticulous planning for over a year. The militants were trained with imported AK-47 rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, handguns among other arms and equipments during their above and below-ground military exercises in the densely-populated Gaza Strip.
Hamas even deployed drones to frame a detailed map of Israeli towns as well as to point out locations of Israel's barrier system. They also elicited information from day labourers who were allowed to enter into Israel from Gaza. They further studied the Israeli websites and monitored the real estate photographs and social media posts that reveal the layout of the cities.
However, most of the important details of the plan were kept from Hamas politburo and its chief backer Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah.
Israel's top intelligence official Michael Milshtein told the Post that Hamas' military leader Yehiya Sinwar, believed to be the top architect of the plan, along with other top leaders of the group planted the seed of sophisticated deception into the minds of Israeli administration.
“Hamas wants no more war,” Milshtein said this is what the Israelis wanted to hear. This message was translated into Hamas refraining from engaging in bloody conflicts since 2021, even its Gaza ally the Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired rockets and engaged militariry with Israel.