Netanyahu Pushes Back Against Theory He Knew About October 7 Hamas Attack, Declares Plans For Securing Northern Front Are In The Works

Image by Ma’ayan Toaf (GPO)

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under immense pressure internationally to halt the Rafah offensive, and secure the remaining hostages, is now also pushing back against theories that the Israeli government knew about the coming October 7 attacks in late 2023.

The Netanyahu government issued a statement you can read below on the issue.

It is antithetical to many observers that the Israeli defense apparatus did not foresee the violence. Israeli intelligence, and American intelligence have vast resources, and the attack was so big, that it seems impossible to have been overlooked in the planning and pre-execution stages.

In addition, Netanyahu recently visited military facilities in the north of Israel, and declared plans are in the works to secure the region and return citizens who were forced out of their homes last fall.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at IDF Northern Command HQ: “We are constantly in action on the northern front. We have detailed, important, and even surprising plans,” wrote a press release.

The Prime Minister spoke with Maj.-Gen. Gordin and the divisional commanders on the detailed operational plans in the sector and heard about the determination among the divisions to take such action as may be necessary to restore the residents of the north to their homes with security.

“We are constantly in action on the northern front. As of now we have eliminated hundreds of Hezbollah militants and we are still poised – even today.

I just received a briefing from the head of Northern Command and I also spoke with the division commanders. We have detailed, important, and even surprising plans.

But I will not share these plans – which are designed to do two things, 1) to restore security to the north, and 2) to restore the residents safely to their homes – with the enemy. We are determined to achieve both of them together.”

*Statement from the Prime Minister’s Office*

The Prime Minister’s Office, today (Thursday, 23 May 2024) [translated from Hebrew]:

The claim that Prime Minister Netanyahu received early warning from IDF Intelligence about a possible attack from Gaza is the opposite of the truth. Not only was there no warning of any kind about a Hamas intention to attack Israel from Gaza, but a completely opposite assessment was provided.

Two references to Hamas in four intelligence documents point out that Hamas did not want to attack Israel from Gaza and that it favored a peaceful arrangement. The first reference, from 19 March 2023, notes that Hamas’s strategy is “leaving Gaza on the back burner” and focusing attacks against Israel from other arenas.

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The second reference from 31 May 2023 recommended that Israel join the “regional de-escalation trend” and “take a step forward toward a peaceful arrangement with the Gaza Strip and the Hamas sovereign.”

All of the security bodies consistently supported these assessments that Hamas was not interested in escalation but in an arrangement with Israel and that Hamas was deterred.

As to the claim raised in the documents about the negative effect on our enemies of a lack of cohesion in Israel, the Prime Minister himself repeatedly warned about this danger when he spoke of those refusing to serve in the military.

For example, on 17 July 2023 the Prime Minister warned that the internal debate “is gnawing away at our deterrence against our enemies who could be tempted to act aggressively against us.”

Yet Prime Minister Netanyahu was accurate when he warned Israel’s enemies that on the day of reckoning “the internal debate will not impair our determination and strength to strike them whenever necessary.”

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