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How Hamas Built A Force To Attack Israel On 7 October?

A recent analysis by BBC News sheds light on the intricate planning and coordination behind the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas and several other Palestinian groups. The report reveals that five armed Palestinian factions, in collaboration with Hamas, engaged in military-style exercises since 2020, honing their combat tactics and ultimately executing a raid into Israel. This comprehensive examination brings to light the strategic maneuvers, joint drills, and the overall preparation that led to the deadly assault.

Unity through Drills:

The analysis underscores that Hamas, as the most dominant armed group in Gaza, initiated a series of joint drills named “Strong Pillar” beginning in December 2020. These exercises aimed to showcase unity among Gaza’s armed factions, bringing together ten Palestinian groups in a coalition overseen by a “joint operation room.” The move was perceived as a departure from previous collaborations, indicating a broader alliance of armed factions.

Evidence compiled by BBC Arabic and BBC Verify points to 10 groups, including the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), training alongside Hamas during the Strong Pillar drills. These groups, identified through distinctive headbands and emblems, later played a significant role in the October 7 attack.

Training and Tactics:

The joint drills closely mirrored the tactics employed during the assault on Israel, including hostage-taking, compound raids, and breaching of Israel’s defenses. Detailed videos of these exercises were shared on social media platforms, providing a visual record of the preparation leading up to the unprecedented attack.

Hamas emphasized the theme of unity, presenting the armed factions as equal partners in the drills. The group strategically utilized propaganda to convey a message of permanent readiness and the ability to coordinate a joint assault.

Sites and Surveillance:

The analysis reveals that Hamas went to great lengths to ensure the realism of the drills. Training sites, including a mock Israeli military base just 1.6 km from the Israeli border, were meticulously chosen. Satellite imagery located 14 training sites across Gaza, with drills often conducted in close proximity to significant installations.

Despite reports suggesting high drone activity and warnings from female surveillance soldiers near the Gaza border, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) reportedly overlooked signs of the impending attack. The IDF had previously targeted Hamas’s training sites, but the group continued to adapt and hide its activities effectively.

Unprecedented Tactics:

Hamas incorporated various tactics into its training regimen, some of which were not publicized until the attack unfolded. These tactics included the use of motorcycles and paragliders, offering the group an element of surprise during the assault. A BBC Verify investigation located 14 training sites across Gaza, revealing the extent of the group’s preparation.

The October 7 attack on Israel, resulting in approximately 1,200 casualties and an estimated 240 hostages, was a culmination of meticulous planning, joint drills, and adaptive tactics by Hamas and collaborating factions. As the region grapples with the aftermath, questions arise about Israel’s intelligence oversight and the potential for missed opportunities to prevent the tragedy. The ramifications for Israel’s military, intelligence services, and government could be significant, as scrutiny into the handling of this unprecedented event unfolds in the coming years.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

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