Where were the Israeli forces?

Hamas militants infiltrated southern Israel and tortured hundreds and kidnapped more than 300, in addition to killing 1,200 people.

Tel Aviv, Israel – Below the Israeli Army Headquarters in Tel Aviv, A bunker known as El HoyoThe commander was trying to understand the news of rocket fire Hamas In southern Israel during the early hours of 7 October When the call came.

He was the commander of the division that oversaw military operations along the border with the Gaza Strip. Their base was attacked. The commander could not describe the extent of the attack or provide further details, according to a military official with knowledge of the call. However, he requested that all available reinforcements be sent.

At 7:43 a.m., more than an hour after the rocket attacks began and thousands of Hamas fighters poured into Israel, El Hoyo issued his first deployment directive of the day., He directed all emergency forces to head south with all available units that could arrive so quickly.

However, the country’s military leaders had not yet acknowledged that an invasion of Israel was already underway.

Hours later, desperate Israeli civilians were still protecting themselves and calling for help. Nearly 1,200 people died as the Middle East’s most advanced army failed in its essential mission: protecting Israeli lives.

It may take months to understand the full reasons for the military’s slow response. The government has promised an investigation. However, an investigation of the new York Times It turned out that the Israeli army was undermanned, had elements misplaced and were so poorly organized that they communicated in makeshift WhatsApp groups and relied on social media posts for information about their targets.

The commandos went into battle armed only for short-term combat. Helicopter pilots were instructed to watch news reports and review channels on the messaging app Telegram to select their targets.

Also, perhaps most scandalous: The Israeli military did not even have a plan to respond to a large-scale Hamas attack on Israeli territory, According to current and retired military members and officers.

Yom Tov SamiaA major general and former chief of command in the Israeli Reserve

Hamas massacred 1,200 people on October 7

Army South said: “In practice, there was no adequate defensive preparation, no training and no equipment or reinforcements for such an operation.”

Amir Avivi, A brigadier general in the reserves and a former deputy commander of the Gaza division responsible for the security of the area said: “There was no defense plan for the sudden attack that we saw on October 7.”

In response to a series of questions asked by the Times, in which soldiers and officers alike noted that there was no plan, the Israeli military responded and used the acronym for Israel Defense Forces: “The IDF is currently responding to threats.” The focus is on eliminating the terrorist organization Hamas. These types of questions will be examined in later stages.

The Times investigation is based on a review of internal Israeli government documents and a repository of military material known as Pandora. It contains thousands of videos, including recordings from body cameras and closed-circuit surveillance cameras worn by terrorists. The Times interviewed dozens of officers, enlisted members of the troops and witnesses.

Documents and interviews revealed new details about the attack, including military assessments and orders such as those given by El Hoyo that morning. they show together Much of the military failure was due to a lack of planning as well as a series of intelligence failures in the months and years preceding the attack.

The Israeli military and security agencies repeatedly assessed that Hamas was not interested in or capable of launching a large-scale offensive. Even when Israel received Hamas’s war plans, officials clung to that optimistic view, suggesting that an invasion was exactly what Hamas was planning.

An Israeli flag amid the remains of the Berea kibbutz attacked by Hamas on October 7 (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

The Israeli government determined that the loosely organized Civil Guard, known as kitat konenut, will serve as the first line of defense in cities and towns near the border. However, the Guardians had different standards of training depending on who was in charge. According to two Israeli military officers, he had warned for years that some of his units were poorly trained and equipped.

Furthermore, Israeli army reserves were not prepared to mobilize and deploy quickly.

Davidi Ben Zion, 38, a major in the reserves, said reservists were never trained to respond immediately to an attack.

Commando units were among the first to mobilize that morning. Some said they came into conflict after receiving messages from people pleading for help or learning about the leak through social media.

Other units were on standby and had received formal activation orders.

The small size of the teams indicated that Commanders fundamentally misinterpreted the threat. The soldiers came with pistols and assault rifles.

Unpublished documents reviewed by The Times show how badly the military misinterpreted the situation. Records from the hours before that day show that, even during the attack, The military still estimates that Hamas could breach Israel’s border fence in only a few locations. Another intelligence document indicates that teams of Hamas actually infiltrated the wall at more than thirty locations.

Hamas fighters attacked Israel with heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, landmines and other weapons. They were prepared to fight for days, Apparently, the Israeli commandos believed they would only fight for a few hours.

Yair Ansbacher, 40, a reservist in an anti-terrorism unit who fought on October 7, said: “terrorists had a clear strategic advantage In firepower.” Ansbacher said he and his colleagues primarily used pistols, assault rifles, and occasionally sniper rifles.

And as civilian volunteers had warned, the first line of defense inside Israel was quickly overrun. Officials reported that some units had enough weapons for barely an hour of fighting.

Hamas also worked strategically to weaken Israel’s advantage in firepower. Brigadier General Hisham Ibrahim, commander of the armored corps, said the militants attacked Israeli tanks, destroying several of them. The tanks ran out of ammunition, forcing the crews to fight ground forces.

But Hamas launched another strategic attack that morning that practically blinded the Israeli army at a critical moment.l

attack on Reem Military Base Instead of coordinating a response to the attack, the army was left fighting for its lives.

Reim is home to the Gaza Division, which oversees all military operations in the area. It also has two brigades, the Northern Brigade and the Southern Brigade, dedicated to guarding the approximately 65 kilometer border.

Like other bases, Ream was short-staffed due to the holiday. According to a senior military officer, a brigade commander and key personnel were outside the base. Officials said they were called before dawn, as Israeli intelligence officials tried to understand unusual Hamas activity across the border in Gaza.

unit of Magellan Elite Commando It operates from a base about 25 minutes from Gaza.

According to an officer familiar with that day’s operations, his deputy commander activated the unit around 6:30 am on 7 October. However, the team received little guidance from top Israeli generals or the Gaza Division Headquarters, which itself was unknowingly the victim of the attack.

With communications disrupted outside the Reim and military leaders in Tel Aviv struggling to understand the scope of the attack, Magellan turned to an unlikely source for information: Refael Hayun, a 40-year-old man living with his parents in Netivot. -Lived with father. 8 kilometers from Gaza.

Hayun watched Hamas-recorded videos of the attack in real time on social media and relayed the information to Magellan authorities. Hayun started receiving WhatsApp messages from his children, friends and people trying to save themselves.

One of the messages read: “Hello Raphael, we are stuck in a garbage container near the party venue. Please come and save us. “There are sixteen of us.”

Hayun relayed those locations to the commandos, but they did not understand the great dimensions of the battle.

Reservist Ben Zion said his paratrooper unit left its base in central Israel near Tel Aviv in a convoy around 1:30 p.m. They went away on their own. To save time, they went out without night vision equipment or proper bulletproof vests.

I expected to see the roads to the south filled with troops, equipment and armored vehicles.

In an interview, Zion recalled: “The streets were empty!” About seven hours into the battle, he turned to the reservist next to him and asked, “Where is the IDF?”

© The New York Times 2023

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button