They call the barbarism that began last Saturday in the Middle East the 9/11 of Israel. Because of its similarity to the surprise attack that happened on September 11, 2001 against the United States and because, like 22 years ago, Israel’s defense and security groups also failed to protect their people. The deadly invasion of Hamas, the armed group that controls Gaza, into Israeli territory has raised all kinds of doubts about what happened to the Israeli intelligence, Mossad, which is recognized worldwide as one of the most effective.
Now more than ever, the tools for gathering information are limitless, and they are all in the Gaza Strip, where the attack came. From drones that fly and constantly record ground movements, to cybernetic equipment, traditional and modern security cameras or flesh and blood soldiers with extensive training. It appears that none of this was enough to prevent an attack unprecedented in the last 50 years in Israel. “This is a huge failure,” said Yaakov Amidror, former national security adviser, in an interview with a North American media outlet. “In fact, this operation shows that the intelligence capacity in Gaza is not good,” he added. “First we fight, then we investigate,” said Daniel Hagari, spokesman for the Defense Forces. So it is very possible that when the dust settles, when it calms down, “heads will roll, metaphorically speaking,” said veteran journalist Enrique Zimmerman in one of his live connections after the invasion.
How Hamas managed to keep its bloody plan a secret is one of the big questions. There are experts who claim that the 2005 withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip deprived the intelligence services of first-hand information on the ground. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Amir Avivi, a retired Israeli general who is now the president of the Israel Defense and Security Forum, said the troop withdrawal forced Israel’s intelligence services to monitor the land only through the eyes of technology, and The militants in Gaza have learned to close them. For Avivi, “the other side has learned to deal with our technological dominance.”
Added to this is a wave of violence in the West Bank that will divert more Israeli military resources to that area. Senior Israeli officials acknowledged that the lack of surveillance of the communication channels used by the Palestinian attackers was key for them to carry out the bloody attack. Not to mention the force needed to stop the political turmoil in Israel over the judicial reform that the government of far-right leader Benjamin Netanyahu wants to impose.
Apparently, the prime minister of Israel has already received many warnings from his intelligence services and defense groups that this reform is polarizing his people, and “which affects the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in way that, I think, we discovered. a big distraction,” Martin Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel during Barack Obama’s administration, said in an interview.
Israel’s security chiefs failed to measure the Hamas threat. Since 2021, Israel has provided jobs to Gazans and incentives for them to work in Israel or the West Bank where wages are 10 times higher than in Gaza. They thought that with these economic incentives they could contain a war-weary Hamas. The reality was very different and the armed group quietly prepared an unprecedented strategy: they managed to deceive everyone by giving the public the impression that their concerns were purely economic and that they were not ready to fight.
There are even mockers of them, such as the Palestinian president of the West Bank, who in a statement published in 2022 accused Hamas leaders of fleeing Arab capitals “to live in luxury hotels and villa” leaving their people in poverty. . On Saturday, in the deadly attack on Israel by air, land and sea, they made it clear that it had nothing to do with “luxury hotels and villas” of the day.
Experts are also now looking at the US intelligence services, particularly the CIA. Their work seemed flawless when the Russian invasion of Ukraine was noticed, but this time they did not see what was coming. CNN assured that this surprise attack “raises concerns about the technological blind spots of US intelligence,” as a senior US intelligence official explained to the US network.
Apparently, in recent months “signs that tensions are increasing” have been found, but no one has suggested this dire outcome. US and Israeli officials “will be collecting reports in the coming days to see if things are missing, or intelligence was collected, or misread, or if we have a dark spot that we don’t know about.” “