October 7th Surprise

The Hamas organization launched a surprise attack on Israel at the border of the Gaza Strip, successfully infiltrating dozens of terrorists into Israeli settlements and capturing some of them for the first time.This attack marks a declaration of war on Israel, constituting a strategic surprise, and it exposes a significant failure within Israel's intelligence system, which failed to provide sufficient warning and readiness for such an event.

Exactly 50 years have passed since Israel was surprised on October 6, 1973, by Egypt and Syria when they launched an unexpected attack.

It appears that history may be repeating itself, with the attack on Israel and the subsequent intelligence failure resembling a “Yom Kippur failure number 2.”

The terrorist organization Hamas managed to take Israel by surprise, causing both the Israeli intelligence system and the intelligence wing of the IDF and the Shin Bet to fail miserably in sending a timely warning to IDF forces for preparation against the anticipated attack.

Hamas deceived Israel by agreeing to reduce border riots in the Gaza Strip last week in exchange for increased Qatari financial aid and an increase in the number of Gaza Strip laborers allowed to work in Israel.

The Israeli notion that it could appease Hamas through financial incentives and laborer entry into Israel has now completely crumbled.

Hamas executed a well-planned, long-term strategic deception operation while firing thousands of rockets at Israel.

They infiltrated dozens of terrorists into settlements on the Gaza Strip border, managing to bypass the extensive 60 km ground barrier erected by Israel primarily to prevent tunnel penetration.

This operation resulted in the killing and kidnapping of Israeli civilians and soldiers, according to Hamas’s statement.

However, we should await official information from the IDF on the matter.

In the meantime, it has been confirmed that Uriel Liebstein, the head of the regional council in the settlement of Shaar Hanegev, was killed during an encounter with Hamas terrorists.

The mastermind behind the surprise attack is Muhammad Def, the Chief of Staff of the Hamas military wing.

He announced this morning that the Hamas operation is named “The Flood of Al-Aqsa” and is intended to put an end to Israeli violations.

He also claimed that 5000 rockets had been launched towards Israel since this morning.

Hamas officials assert that this operation was long in the making and coordinated with Iran’s “Revolutionary Guards.”

They claim to have been promised additional fronts joining the campaign against Israel, such as Hamas units in southern Lebanon, thus implementing a “unification of the fronts” strategy.

In reality, this constitutes a declaration of war on Israel, necessitating an appropriate response.

Iran and the terrorist organizations are closely monitoring Israel’s expected reaction, and it must be commensurate; otherwise, Israel risks eroding its deterrence completely.

Israel’s assumption that terrorist organizations and Iran would wait for internal issues, such as the protest wave against judicial reform, to weaken it from within has proven wrong.

They chose the right moment to catch Israel off guard during a holiday.

Beyond the expected strong Israeli response following the Security Cabinet meeting, Israel will need to reevaluate and significantly change its defense system along the Gaza Strip border and its overall security concept in the region.

Israel now finds itself in a state of war with the Gaza Strip, as the Air Force has already initiated attacks on terrorist organization targets in the Strip.

The crucial question for the Defense Cabinet is whether to enter the Gaza Strip on the ground to dismantle the military infrastructure of these organizations.

We are entering a challenging period from both a security and political standpoint, and the duration of this campaign remains uncertain.

To be continued.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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