Three days before the unexpected Hamas attack from Gaza, Israel had reportedly received an official warning from Egypt, according to Michael McCaul, the chair of the US House foreign affairs committee.
- Official Warning: Egypt allegedly alerted Israel about a possible assault from Gaza three days before it occurred.
- Israel’s Response: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuted claims of receiving any prior warning from Cairo, labeling them as “fake news.”
- Attack Aftermath: Over 1,200 Israeli civilians were killed during the surprise attack by more than 1,500 Hamas fighters who breached the Gaza border fence.
Michael McCaul, after an intelligence briefing with senior Congress members, revealed the alleged warning from Egypt to Israel. However, he mentioned that it was uncertain at which level the warning was communicated. Despite the alert, Israel was taken by surprise during Saturday’s attack, which saw Hamas fighters targeting various locations, including a music festival and kibbutzim near the border. The Israeli military’s response came several hours after the initial assault.
Earlier in the week, Netanyahu denied reports suggesting that Israel had been forewarned by Cairo’s intelligence services. He emphasized that no such message had been received from Egypt. Contrarily, an anonymous Egyptian official claimed that they had repeatedly informed Israeli officials about an impending significant event. The official stated that Israel had underestimated these warnings, focusing more on the West Bank than the potential threat from Gaza.
While Egyptian media sources close to intelligence services denied issuing any warning to Israel, McCaul remained confident that some form of alert was passed on. He also hinted that the planning for the attack might have been underway for up to a year, unnoticed by both Israel and its allies. Sir Alex Younger, a former MI6 head, believed that Hamas managed to evade electronic surveillance by completely abandoning any electronic devices, thereby achieving the element of surprise.
|For Further Reading|
|The relationship between Israel and Egypt has been complex, with Egypt often playing a mediator role between Israel and Hamas. The historical and political dynamics between these nations can be better understood by exploring the Wikipedia article on Israel–Egypt relations.|
Why is the alleged warning from Egypt significant?
The alleged warning from Egypt is significant as it suggests that Israel might have had prior knowledge of the impending attack, which could have potentially saved lives and prevented the surprise assault by Hamas.
How did Hamas manage to evade electronic surveillance?
According to Sir Alex Younger, a former MI6 head, Hamas likely evaded electronic surveillance by completely abandoning any electronic devices, ensuring no electronic signatures that could be detected.
Original article source: The Guardian