On 7th October 2023 the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, launched an attack into Israel from the Gaza Strip, home to some 2.2 million Palestinians.
Hamas calls its attack Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. Israel calls it the Simchat Torah Massacre or Black Saturday. We’ll refer to it as Al-Aqsa Flood for no other reason than that this is the most common nomenclature outside of Israel. The attack came at the end of the Sukkot holiday in Israel, when Jews celebrate the renewed cycle of the reading of the Torah.
Let’s consider some other terms that will be used throughout this article.
First, “Israel” refers to the Israeli government and its intelligence and defence forces. It is not a reference to the people of Israel, to Jewish people in general, or to the wider Jewish diaspora.
Second, “Zionism” refers to the political ideology of Zionism; it is not “shorthand for Jews.” “Zionists” means the supporters (both Jewish and non-Jewish) of the political goals of Zionism—nothing more.
Third, “Hamas” means the active members of Hamas, whose full name in Arabic is Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah. Those members include the men who serve in the al-Qassam Brigades. “Hamas” is not used as a term for the Palestinian people in general nor specifically for Palestinians living in Gaza. Rather, “Hamas” is used to denote only the government of Gaza and its members.
Fourth, the term “terrorist” has no firm legal definition in international law. It has been given a “consensus” definition by the governments of nation-states, who always avoid that term when they are the ones committing terroristic acts. Objectivity precludes referring to al-Qassam Brigade fighters as “terrorists” until the evidence of the actions they took during the Al-Aqsa Flood has been accumulated and investigated. Instead, the term “fighters” is used.
In refraining from the term “terrorists,” there is no tacit approval of the Hamas attack. To comply with international law, Hamas fighters would have had to make the necessary distinction between combatants and non-combatants and any military action they took would have needed to minimise civilian casualties in order to have been proportionate.
Needless to say, the same standards of international law apply to Israel’s defence and security forces.
False Flag Terror
Not every apparent “terrorist” attack is as it first appears—that is, what witnesses say they see or what initial news reports or government accounts say happened. After further investigation, the actual “who, what, and why” frequently point away from the official narrative and reveal facts that were withheld by government sources and legacy media.
The independent journalists who unearth this new information are usually dismissed as conspiracy theorists and their revelations are ignored. Occasionally, however, the evidence that incriminates the real culprits—who are usually elements within the government itself—is acknowledged by “official sources” and a false flag is admitted.
One such false flag operation is the Lavon Affair, which was exposed in late 1954 when two Israeli operatives involved in “Operation Susannah” went on trial in Egypt. A sleeper cell of eight Israeli-trained Egyptian Zionists planted a number of explosive devices in public buildings with the intention of blaming the attacks on either the Muslim Brotherhood or the Egyptian Communist Party. Israel’s objective was to undermine growing US support for Egyptian nationalism under Gamal Nasser and deter UK plans to withdraw military protection of the Suez Canal.
Operation Susannah is an example of a MIHOP (Make It Happen On Purpose) false flag. In a MIHOP operation, the attacks, which often result in death or injury, are carried out by one group but blamed on another group for some strategic or political or even propaganda purpose.
Perhaps the best-known MIHOP campaign came to be collectively known as Operation Gladio. Across Europe, between the mid-1950s and late-1980s, NATO-aligned intelligence agencies used mainly “far right” terror groups to commit atrocities that were usually blamed on “far left” terror groups. The use by both European and US intelligence agencies of these “stay behind” units was eventually exposed in the European Parliament.
Although, strictly speaking, Gladio was confined to Italy during the so-called “years of lead,” other attacks, such as the Brabant massacres that terrorised the Belgians throughout the early 1980s, had evident links to Gladio-like operations. The attacks in Belgium, for instance, were carried out by the SDRA8 and STC/Mob stay behind units.
Similarly, while not officially part of Gladio, there are many aspects of “the troubles” in Northern Ireland that used the same “strategy of tension” favoured by Gladio operatives.
In 2003, following a lengthy investigation led by Sir John Stevens, his final recommendations report noted that in Northern Ireland:
[. . .] there was collusion in both murders and the circumstances surrounding them. Collusion is evidenced in many ways. This ranges from the wilful failure to keep records, the absence of accountability, the withholding of intelligence and evidence, through to the extreme of agents being involved in murder. [. . .] The unlawful involvement of agents in murder implies that the security forces sanction killings. [. . .] Informants and agents were allowed to operate without effective control and to participate in terrorist crimes.
British agents in Northern Ireland conducted terrorist operations—examples of MIHOP—but UK intelligence operatives also selectively turned a blind eye to terrorist activity. This is called “Let It Happen On Purpose”—LIHOP.
LIHOP is a form of false flag terror in the sense that authorities are aware in advance of a planned attack—even down to details like date and location—but do nothing to stop it. The intelligence agencies and other law enforcement agencies LIHOP because it suits their strategic or policy objectives.
The 1993 World Trade Centre bombing is an example of a LIHOP false flag terror event. The Arab terrorists were so obviously recruited and so heavily infiltrated by FBI informants and CIA-trained assets that the latter agency eventually conceded it was partly culpable for the deaths of six innocent people. What made the ’93 WTC attack a LIHOP was that neither the CIA nor the FBI did anything to prevent it.
Actually, the evidence indicates that both intelligence arms also strayed into MIHOP but it is only the LIHOP aspects that are conceded. The bombing was used to construct a false narrative that Iraqi intelligence was involved in mainland US terrorism. This supposed fact justified additional national security spending and eventually, following 9/11, became part of the “war on terror” story that led to the illegal Iraq War in 2003.
Most false flag attacks are not exposed, especially those undertaken during conflicts. For instance, it is likely that the false flag attacks perpetrated by UK Special Air Service (SAS) troops in the Iraq city of Basra in 2005 would have been chalked up to yet-more-terrorist atrocities had the SAS death squad not been arrested by Iraqi police. Only after the arrest was it revealed that the SAS team was driving around Basra murdering civilians while disguised as jihadists.
The evidence proving the use of false flag terrorism is so extensive that even the propaganda outlets called “fact checkers” have no choice but to concede the existence of state-sponsored false flag terrorism. But they claim it is extremely rare and they blame only certain governments while avoiding mention of complicity by other governments. In truth, the use of false flag attacks is a relatively common tactic of many governments.
When first confronted with government-sponsored false flag terrorism, most people experience the troubling symptoms of cognitive dissonance. That’s because the shocking reality, when it hits them, undermines everything they imagine to be true about their supposedly benevolent governments. Of course, no one’s personal discomfort alters the facts.
Based on the historical record of false flags, which we’ve only just skimmed the surface of here, it’s fair to say that whenever a major terror attack occurs, especially one of great geopolitical significance, the possibility of it being a false flag needs to be ruled out before the official account can be considered credible.
Al-Aqsa Flood is no exception.
Al-Aqsa Flood: The Official Account
The operation called Al-Aqsa Flood was a series of coordinated attacks. It is said to have been conceived by Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, and by Mohammed Deif, the commander of Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades and its elite Nukhba Squads. According to official sources, Al-Aqsa Flood was commanded on the ground by Mohammed Deif.
At approximately 06.30 (Israel Summer Time) on 7th October, Hamas launched a mass rocket attack on Israel. Approximately 5,000 rockets were launched in total; accounts vary slightly. Some were launched northward toward the Sharon Plain, striking cities like Gedera, Tel Aviv, and Ashkelon. Others were launched eastward toward cities like Be’er Shiva and towns like Ofakim and Netivot.
The accompanying Hamas statement that Mohammed Deif issued read:
We announce the start of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and we announce that the first strike, which targeted enemy positions, airports, and military fortifications, exceeded 5,000 missiles and shells.
The bombardment coincided with a ground assault into southern Israel by an estimated 2,900 “fighters” primarily from the al-Qassam Brigades but also incorporating the al-Quds Brigades (AQB)—the military arm of Islamic Jihad. They stormed the Israeli barrier surrounding Gaza known as the Iron Wall. Reportedly, they breached this high-tech defence simultaneously in 29 separate locations.
In addition, Hamas launched maritime attacks—notably on the IDF Bahad 4 base near Zikim—and aerial attacks. In the latter, al-Qassam Brigades and AQB used commercial drones to drop small explosive devices that disabled the automatic machine guns and surveillance antennae lining the Iron Wall. Importantly, these devices took out all of the key cellular communication towers along the Israeli defensive line. The Hamas fighters also flew small motorised paragliders over the Israeli defences and used them to attack multiple targets behind the “wall.”
Once small breaches were secured, a vanguard of fighters entered Israel on foot or on motorcycles. Bulldozers were used to enlarge the small breaches, allowing multiple vehicles to enter and join the assault.
Key to disabling Israeli defences were the attacks on numerous Israeli Defence Force (IDF) military basis and strategic positions. Between 06:30 and 08:30, the al-Qassam Brigades and the AQB successfully overran the Erez Crossing, the Nahal Oz military base, the base located near the Be’eri kibbutz, the Sufa outpost, the Re’im military base and a IDF observation facility near the Kerem Shalom kibbutz.
Of these, perhaps the most crucial attack was on the Nahal Oz surveillance control center and within it the all-female team of IDF “spotters” stationed in the Nahal Oz observation room aka “situation room.”
The Nahal Oz base is home to the IDF Unit 414, which specialises in combat intelligence. Unit 414’s role is to gather intelligence in the field and transfer that information to and among the other field units. The female spotters in the Nahal Oz situation room monitor the surveillance cameras along the “Iron Wall.” From there, they dispatch forces to investigate suspicious activity or respond to any attacks. In addition, the unit oversees the multiple command centres for various IDF positions along the border.
Another significant and simultaneous attack by Hamas that morning was made on the Re’im military base. This is the headquarters of the IDF’s 143rd Gaza Division, which has primary responsibility for defending southern Israel in the immediate vicinity of the Gaza border and which the Nahal Oz spotters call upon. It appears that the al-Qassam Brigades held the Re’im base for most of the day.
This meant that a cluster of Israeli senior military commanders were captured or killed by Hamas in one location. As reported by the The New York Times:
[The attack on the Re’im military base,] combined with the communication problems caused by the drone strikes, prevented a coordinated response. This kept anyone along the border from grasping the full breadth of the assault, including the commanders who rushed from elsewhere in Israel to launch a counterattack.
By taking out the cell towers and Nahal Oz and by holding Re’im for many hours, the al-Qassam and al-Quds Brigades’ operation hobbled the IDF. It was four hours before the IDF made any defence of the surrounding towns and villages and up to six hours before the IDF fully engaged with any Hamas-led forces. This allowed the al-Qassam and Al-Quds Brigades ample opportunity to seize military objectives, kill Israelis, take hostages and still have enough time to retreat to Gaza, hostages in tow.
Numerous kibbutzim, towns and villages within an approximate 30-mile radius of the Gazan border were attacked. Massacres were reported at Sderot, Kfar Aza, Nahal Oz, Be’eri, Nir Oz, Ashkelon and many other locations.
The Re’im music festival was among the first locations attacked. There, nearly 40 hostages were seized and more than 260 reported deaths were initially reported. The latter number has since been updated to 360-plus.
In total, the Israeli government now estimates that 1,200 Israeli citizens and IDF troops were killed—a revision from the 1,400 first reported—and 240 were taken hostage during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7th October 2023.
Israel’s Intelligence Failure?
Some commentators have claimed that Israel’s over-reliance on technology and AI led it to undervalue information gathered from traditional human intelligence and that it neglected human data analysis. This tech dependence contrasts with Hamas’ eschewal of modern technology—smart phones, for example—coupled with its use of face-to-face communication on a strictly hierarchical, need-to-know basis. Thus, it is alleged, Israel’s faith in high-tech to defend itself led to its so-called intelligence “failure.” Put another way, Israel supposedly had no reason to anticipate Al-Aqsa Flood.
There are many problems with this theory.
For one thing, it assumes that Israel sidelined its human intelligence operations and instead overly relied upon AI.
For another, it assumes that Israel’s superior electronic surveillance capability somehow depends upon its enemy’s—in this case, Hamas’—own use of compliant technology.
Effectively, these assumptions make the unprovable case that Israel’s awesome cutting-edge surveillance capacity undermined, rather than enhanced, its intelligence abilities and efforts on 7th October. This does not appear to be true.
Indeed, it is difficult to understand why anyone would imagine Al-Aqsa Flood was a “surprise attack.” There doesn’t appear to have been anything surprising about it. There is much evidence that disproves the “surprise” theory.
For starters, ever since a 2014 conflict between Hamas and the IDF, the Shin Bet—Israel’s Internal General Security Services—has known about Hamas plans to use paragliders and aerial drones.
Also, in 2021 Israeli intelligence reported that Hamas had been rebuilding its arsenal of rockets, unmanned drones, anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles and that it had somewhere in the region of 30,000 troops who were training and ramping up preparations for both maritime and airborne assaults.
Israel’s much-vaunted Iron Dome air defense system “failed” not because it was taken by surprise but because it was overwhelmed. Consider that with ten batteries, each with a capacity of 60 to 80 missiles, if Hamas fired 5,000 rockets en masse, as is alleged, even with a claimed 90% interception success rate, Israel’s Iron Dome could only possibly intercept a maximum of around 12% of them.
Again, what is hard to explain is why Israel said the attack was “unexpected.”
During the 2021 war between the two sides, Hamas launched mass rocket attacks. In addition, according to Israeli intelligence, Hamas had stockpiled more than 7,000 rockets, some with a range of up to 80 kilometres. The potential that Hamas could launch an overwhelming barrage was well-known by Israel’s national security community.
Furthermore, according to a 30th November article in The New York Times, Israeli intelligence was in possession of a Hamas planning document for Al-Aqsa Flood for at least a year before the attack happened. The Israelis reportedly codenamed that battle plan “Jericho Wall.”
This plan was reportedly dismissed as implausible by Israeli intelligence analysts. Why they should do so is perplexing. Israel had every reason to take “Jericho Wall” very seriously indeed.
As the NYT reported:
Hamas followed the blueprint [Jericho Wall] with shocking precision. The document called for a barrage of rockets at the outset of the attack, drones to knock out the security cameras and automated machine guns along the border, and gunmen to pour into Israel en masse in paragliders, on motorcycles and on foot — all of which happened on Oct. 7.
It seems this Hamas document—called Jericho Wall by Israeli intelligence—was circulated among Israeli observers and intelligence analysts. This seemingly contradicts the notion that Israeli intelligence didn’t take it seriously.
The two NYT reporters covering the story added that, according to transcripts of emails they had seen, in July 2023 operatives from Unit 8200—Israel’s signals intelligence agency—took note of Hamas preparations and warned senior commanders about Hamas’ apparent intention to launch “Jericho Wall” [Al-Aqsa Flood].
Yet, for some unknown reason, this report was dismissed as fanciful, which prompted one Unit 8200 operative to write: “I utterly refute that the scenario is imaginary.” She noted that the Hamas training exercises she had observed fully matched “the content of Jericho Wall.” The scale of the exercises led the analyst to conclude, “It is a plan designed to start a war. [. . .] It’s not just a raid on a village.”
Hamas preparations and training exercises in the weeks leading up to the Al-Aqsa Flood—or Jericho Wall—were extensive. They were undertaken in full view of Israeli observers. Hamas even produced a two-minute promotional video of its large-scale “Strong Pillar” training exercise, which it posted to social media on 12th September—only four weeks before Al-Aqsa Flood.
According to AP, the video showed Hamas
[. . . u]sing explosives to blast through a replica of the border gate, sweep in on pickup trucks and then move building by building through a full-scale reconstruction of an Israeli town, firing automatic weapons at human-silhouetted paper targets.
As if these out-in-the-open warnings weren’t enough, there were both private, independent sources and operationally active Israeli surveillance personnel repeatedly telling the Israeli intelligence agencies and security forces that Hamas was preparing a massive assault.
A few examples:
— Menachem Gida, leader of a team of Israeli hobbyists who routinely monitored Gaza’s communications networks and regularly tipped off the IDF, told the IDF about Hamas conducting elaborate war games near the border.
— Michael Milstein, former intelligence officer and Israeli government adviser and now a journalist, wrote that “Hamas was preaching war.”
— Yifat Ben Shoshan, a resident of Netiv HaAsara and a tour guide for Israeli towns and Kibbutzim on the Gazan border, was interviewed by the Kan 11 radio station a few days before Al-Aqsa Flood. In that interview, she said:
I hope Hamas isn’t planning a second Yom Kippur. [. . .] For years they had been gradually improving their capabilities, especially their rocket system. And they’d been training for weeks right up against the border, sometimes in massive numbers. I tried to warn the officers, but they told me I didn’t know anything about it and that I was safe.
It seems that private Israeli citizens knew an attack was imminent . . . but that the entire Israeli intelligence and defence establishment was clueless. This “official claim” isn’t remotely plausible.
The Israeli state narrative becomes even more unbelievable when we consider that Israel’s US intelligence partners were reportedly urging greater focus on Gaza prior to the Al-Aqsa Flood—even to the extent of warning Israel about large-scale rocket attacks and an upsurge in Hamas incursions on the border.
The warning from Egyptian intelligence was apparently even more specific. The Egyptians had notified the Israelis “three days prior” to the Flood of an impending Hamas attack, according to Michael McCaul, head of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. Clearly, the US intelligence community knew about these warnings.
Yet the Israeli government flatly denies it received a warning—and this despite Egypt’s intelligence minister telling Israel’s prime minister, per The Times of Israel:
We have warned them [Israeli intelligence] an explosion of the situation is coming, and very soon, and it would be big. But they underestimated such warnings.
“Underestimated” appears to be diplomatic code for “completely dismissed.” Actually, “wilfully ignored” would seem more appropriate. Not only did officials in the Israeli government apparently reject warnings from their intelligence partners and from their own civilian observers and junior military personnel tasked with monitoring the border, but it appears they also brushed off alarms from their own early-detection warning system.
Female border observers, presumably from either the Nahal Oz surveillance control center or the Combat Intelligence Corp, reportedly issued at least two official reports up the chain of command, alerting the Israeli hierarchy to the high likelihood of Al-Aqsa Flood occurring. These operatives, it would appear, faithfully discharged their duty.
Even a border tour guide, Yifat Ben Shoshan, pointed out, in advance, the likelihood of an attack on this day. She highlighted the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, when Egypt and Syria launched a “surprise” attack on Israel, because she recognised the significance to Hamas. One would imagine that this anniversary alone would have sufficed to place Israeli defences on high alert.
Yet, despite the government declaring a state of war almost immediately after the initial wave of the Al-Aqsa Flood, IDF ground forces didn’t respond for more than four hours. And, even then, they were not defending or rescuing Israeli citizens; they merely announced that targets were being struck in Gaza. They made no significant defence of Israeli citizens for at least six hours. A full eleven hours after the attack was launched, citizens in Nir Oz were still left to their own devices.
In its report issued five days after the offensive, the Doha Institute in Qatar wrote:
The [Israeli] Military Intelligence Directorate (Aman) and the Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) failed to anticipate or even obtain any intelligence about the operation.
This claim contradicts all the evidence—not just the many warnings we’ve already discussed. It seems that the night before the attack, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar and Aharon Haliva, head of military intelligence, were all made aware that Hamas was mobilising. But not one of them raised a general alert.
The overwhelming weight of evidence shows that human intelligence and analysis was not lacking. Nor was Israel overly and dangerously reliant on AI for its early warning system. Nor was there any “failure” of intelligence-gathering.
Instead, it is evident that high-level decisions were made to purposely not act on intelligence received and to wantonly reject the data gathered from Israeli observation posts designated for the purpose.
Which leaves only the real question: Why?
The Doha Institute’s next assertion was no more credible than the first (above):
The second major failure is represented in the wall that Israel built around Gaza. [. . .] The Israelis had comfortably assumed it would be enough to prevent Palestinian fighters from penetrating the occupied land, but they were able to cross through it in large numbers and reach more than 20 locations.
It is difficult to believe that Israel’s defence strategists would ever have made such an illogical assumption. The Iron Wall was not designed to defend Israel against a large-scale assault. It was designed as an early warning system that would provide an initial defence and give the IDF an opportunity to respond.
In 2018, Saar Koursh, CEO of Magal Security Systems, which built the Iron Wall, told journalists that it would take only about 30 seconds to cross the barrier if it was attacked in sufficient numbers. He said the purpose of the Iron Wall was “to give real-time indication if somebody is trying to cross the border.”
On 7th October, Israeli military commanders were given plenty of “indications” by Iron Wall observers and by many other intelligence-gatherers, but they chose to do nothing.
Not only were senior commanders and officials seemingly unconcerned by the numerous signs that an attack was likely, they were content to leave the border region practically undefended—unusually so. The Israeli news outlet Haaretz reported that before the attack:
The Southern Command even allowed the transfer to the West Bank of three battalions who operated in the sector [Gaza border], in order to reinforce the troops there [in the West Bank] over the holiday.
Haaretz went on to say that on the day of the attack “Southern Command and the Gaza Regiment collapsed completely”—precisely because there weren’t “enough troops in the sector to deploy.” It seems the skeleton cohort of remaining troops—many of them women soldiers—and the Israeli settlers in the region had been left more or less undefended at exactly the wrong time.
As the IDF slowly began to realise the scale of the assault, orders were dispatched to mobilise and send troops to the Gazan border. But, as Haaretz recounts, the IDF had apparently neglected to plan how to mobilise:
Despite thousands of regular and reserve forces being summoned urgently, the military didn’t prepare with organized buses to take the soldiers to the gathering points. Thus, for long hours, troops awaited rides to take them to the Gaza Perimeter and their units.
Israel’s Surveillance Failure?
According to Ali Baraka, the head of external relations for Hamas, Al-Aqsa Flood took more than two years of planning. Israel contends that Hamas spent only a year, not two years, planning—and yet it claims to have been oblivious of those very plans.
Hamas operates throughout Gaza and the West Bank under the Palestine Authority (PA), the governing body, and has operational offices in countries across the Middle East.
Nevertheless, Hamas was apparently able to secretly assemble, inside Gaza, the men and equipment used in the attack. For reasons we are about to discuss, it seems extremely unlikely that Hamas could get away with having all its fighters and their prepared munitions and equipment hanging around on the Gaza side of the Iron Wall for very long.
While it is tempting to think that Hamas seized the opportunity and took advantage of weakened Israeli defences—on a day when the Gaza division had largely been redeployed to the West Bank—given the complex logistics involved, it seems unlikely that Hamas’ operational schedule was particularly flexible. Thus, the fact that Hamas faced no significant Israeli resistance was, it would seem, an incredibly fortuitous coincidence from the perspective of its military commanders.
The word “failure,” bandied about as explanation, does not even begin to describe the apparent wholesale absence of Israel’s all-pervading surveillance and intelligence capabilities. Not only did Israeli intelligence presumably disappear completely for at least a year prior to Al-Aqsa Flood, but all key Israeli defence forces were somewhere else on the one day that their presence had never been more desperately needed. To hold to Israel’s official account of Al-Aqsa Flood is, therefore, to accept an incredible string of coincidences.
The Palestinians are one of the most surveilled and searched people on Earth. Everyone who enters or leaves any of the Palestinian Territories is subject to biometric ID and travel permit checkpoints, which are monitored by facial recognition. Software bearing the not-too-friendly name of “Blue Wolf” analyses every movement and logs it on what Israeli intelligence operatives have called “Facebook for Palestinians.” So comprehensive and intrusive is Israel’s spying on the Palestinians that, in 2014, former members of Israel’s Unit 8200 wrote a joint letter to the Israeli government expressing their dismay at the extent to which the movement and activity of every Palestinian is tightly monitored and controlled by Israel.
Shin Bet, which handles Israel’s domestic intelligence and security, has had numerous successes in its ongoing conflict with Hamas, often arresting significant numbers in one fell swoop. Obviously acting on Shin Bet’s high-quality intelligence, the IDF has frequently intercepted and shut down Hamas tunnels near the border. Shin Bet’s infiltration of Hamas’ literal underground network has been exhaustive. As we’ll discuss in Part 2, Israel helped Hamas construct much of that network—a fact that has probably contributed to some of Israel’s intelligence successes.
Hamas leaders have often exhibited extreme paranoia regarding intelligence leaks. They have executed their own people as suspected spies and collaborators on many occasions. To be fair, Hamas concerns are not without foundation. In 2018 Hamas officials were reportedly shocked when they discovered the extent to which Shin Bet’s Mista’arvim counterterrorism unit had infiltrated Gaza.
Most of the time we don’t find out about highly sensitive intelligence operations. We learn only about operations that have been found out—which, by definition, means they have failed, at least to some extent. When they do not succeed and are written up, we get a brief glimpse into what it’s like to fight inside Gaza.
One such example occurred in 2018, when members of the IDF’s elite Maglan unit were caught at a Hamas Checkpoint. In response, the Maglan soldiers killed seven Palestinians. Often drawing its operatives from Israel’s Arab Druze minority—who physically resemble Palestinians—Maglan commando units operate behind enemy lines, frequently inside Gaza.
There is no evidence to suggest that Israel has foregone its use of Shin Bet informants and agents, its Mista’arvim operatives, its Maglan units, or the use of targeted assassinations or any other component of its formidable array of counterterrorism and espionage and surveillance operations inside Gaza. Add to those operations Israel’s electronic, satellite and aerial surveillance options and it is with good reason that Gaza is considered the biggest open-air prison on Earth.
In addition to the biometric checkpoints, facial recognition scanning, “Facebook for Palestinians,” observation centres and Iron Wall sensors, Israel now has—as of the March launch of its Ofek-13 SAR [synthetic-aperture radar] observation spy satellite—multiple satellites affording it a range of options to monitor Gaza from space. Ofek-13 SAR systems enable it to view Gazans in all weather and cloud conditions. Other Ofek satellites use advanced electro-optical systems that have a ground resolution of 0.5m2.
Much has been made of the fact that Google images of Gaza appear to be unusually blurred. This is a result of the US Israeli lobby successfully passing the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment through Congress. The amendment prevents the US from authorising high-resolution satellite images of Israel—including the Palestinian Territories—for reasons of Israel’s national security. Thus, private mapping image providers, such as Google Earth, are not “licensed” to provide high resolution images of Gaza. But we can be sure that Israeli intelligence has a detailed and crystal-clear view of Gaza.
Drones such as the Hermes 900 have undergone constant development as Israel has honed its drone observation capabilities with its perpetual aerial surveillance of Gaza. The Hermes 900 boasts electro-optical (EO) and infra-red (IR) sensors, thermal surveillance equipment and laser designator and electronic intelligence sensors.
Israel’s drone surveillance of Gaza has led Gazans to complain of anxiety-inducing sleep deprivation due to the persistent “buzz” in the skies above their heads. Israel uses smaller drones for low altitude reconnaissance and more. The Cyclone drone system can be used both for spying and for crowd control by, for example, dropping teargas on Palestinians. In 2021 Israel was the first country to deploy an AI-controlled drone swarm to locate, identify and attack Hamas militants.
In addition, Israel uses some of the most invasive and advanced intelligence spyware and cyber warfare technology on the market. We learned in 2021, for example, that the US administration had banned the commercial use of Israeli defence contractor NSO’s Pegasus spyware. Able to hack pretty much any internet-enabled device—particularly mobile phones—through various software vulnerabilities, Pegasus can harvest personal and location data, control a mobile phone’s microphones and cameras without the user’s knowledge or permission, and transmit data even after the user has switched off the phone.
All of this electronic surveillance and human intelligence is gathered and analysed by the IDF Unit 9900. The Gaza-specific battlefield intelligence collection unit analyses all the harvested data before deploying units of its Gaza Division, under IDF Southern Command, to strike Hamas and other “terrorist” targets.
Of course, Hamas takes measures to limit its exposure to Israeli spying techniques. Nonetheless, with the addition of its economic, food, water, medical aid and energy blockades of Gaza—which we will explore in more depth in Part 2—it is reasonable to conclude that Israel has Gaza in a permanent, vice-like lockdown.
It is extremely unlikely that Hamas could:
— maintain total operational silence for a full year—much less two years;
— move heavy machinery, weapons and men around Gaza undetected;
— store its equipment and munitions and hide its fighters;
— direct the necessary financial resources;
— and execute a plan like Al-Aqsa Flood without Israel knowing anything about it.
Why did that entire system fail to work during preparations for Al-Aqsa Flood? And why is it suddenly working again in the aftermath of the Hamas attack?
Why We Must Question All Propaganda
The official account of Al-Aqsa Flood simply states that Hamas killed 1,200 Israelis, including an estimated 278 Israeli soldiers and 44 members of its defence and security services and Israeli armed police. If these numbers are accurate, then as many as 878 Israeli citizens were allegedly killed by Hamas on 7th October.
The axiom that “truth is the first casualty in war” is apropos. Propaganda has emanated from all sides. No sooner had reports of the massive scale of Al-Aqsa Flood started to emerge than the horror stories began to abound—many of them sounding too extreme to be credible. The purpose of atrocity propaganda is to elicit a violent emotional reaction from the public, thus enabling state and non-state actors to claim retribution as justification for mass slaughter.
The original allegation that Hamas had chopped children’s and babies’ heads off was made by David Ben Zion, who was serving in the IDF. Ben Zion was the Deputy Chairman of the Shomron Regional Settlers Council in the Central West Bank last February, when he was apparently involved in an attack on the Palestinian town of Huwara, which left at least one Palestinian dead. Interviewed at that time, Ben Zion said that “no mercy” should be shown to the Palestinians and that Huwara should be “erased.”
The West’s legacy media—notably Israeli i24 reporter Nicole Zedeck—picked up Ben Zion’s fanciful tale and spread it as if it were legitimate news. Some other journalists reported finding no evidence to back up the baby-beheading story. But by then the propaganda had already been seeded globally by the complicit legacy media. Though he had no proof, US president Joe Biden was among those who spread the disinformation.
Of course, the widespread deployment of propaganda out of Israel does not mean that Hamas did not kill women and children during Al-Aqsa Flood. Nor does it imply that Hamas hasn’t spread its own fair share of propaganda. It does suggest, however, that we must be cautious—even suspicious—about reports from Israel, from Hamas, and from the legacy media if we are to understand what happened.
At Kibbutz Nir Oz there was an enormous amount of damage to buildings that had apparently been blown to smithereens and incinerated. This is possibly consistent with either heavy rocket fire or the liberal use of explosives or hand grenades by Hamas. That said, for reasons we’ll discuss shortly, there is also evidence that it could have been the result of shelling or missile strikes by Israeli forces.
Hamas was initially reported to have taken a young autistic girl, Noya Dan, hostage from Nir Oz. Her final heartbreaking message was widely reported. Expressing her terror, she said:
Mom, there was a big boom at the door that scared me, [. . .] there was another boom, there are many broken windows. Mommy, I’m scared.
Despite initial reports that Noya had been kidnapped, her charred remains were found inside the grounds of Nir Oz. She was not taken across the border by Hamas.
Speaking on the BBC’s flagship news panel show Question Time, longtime journalist, editor and political commentator Andrew Neil, who is currently chairman of Spectator magazine, said:
The young autistic girl that was taken hostage was too much trouble for Hamas. [. . .] They killed her. [. . .] When you’re up against a Nazi regime like that, [. . .] how can you deal with that.
The Noya Dan killing highlights the horror and the tragedy of that day. It reminds us that Hamas bears responsibility for killing many people—possibly including Noya. There is nothing admirable about anything al-Qassam or al-Quds Brigade fighters did that day.
However, that doesn’t mean there is any clear evidence to support Neil’s version of the story. It doesn’t make sense to say that Hamas took Noya Dan hostage when the evidence points to her having been killed at the Kibbutz. Nor is it right to pontificate on how she died or who killed her.
We can only conclude, then, that Neil was purposely sensationalising the appalling murder of an innocent young girl to make a political point. The crushing reality of Noya Dan’s death and the death of many other Israelis should not be exploited by propagandists. She and her family deserve the truth, whatever it may be. Her death should not be used as a rhetorical device by warmongering commentators.
There have been many reports of rape, sexual violence and sexual mutilation allegedly perpetrated by Hamas fighters. The sickening truth is that sexual violence is a vile and stubbornly persistent facet of war. As hard as the subject is to confront, it would be surprising if no Hamas fighters committed rape. However, if rapes occurred, that does not mean they were acting under orders or deliberately using rape as a weapon of war, as some have alleged.
These claims and counter-claims are set within a heavily propagandised media environment. Israeli media has identified a number of fake accounts, presumably made up by Israeli authorities, about individual acts of alleged Hamas barbarity.
Sadly, this kind of atrocity propaganda undermines the investigation of very real crimes committed by those who acted like true terrorists.
Sadly, too, the propagandizers’ blithe disregard for the lack of solid evidence only makes the chance of bringing the guilty to justice more remote.
People like Andrew Neil who spread disinformation for political objectives evidently don’t care about the emotional toll their words take on the victims’ families and on the watching world. It is as if, to them, the brutal reality of what happened hasn’t shocked us sufficiently.
Speaking of shock value, Hamas posted footage—quite extensively on Telegram—of its own fighters shooting and killing civilians. Its videos show scenes of dead civilians, the kidnapping of bloodied Israeli civilians and the celebrations of Hamas fighters amid the carnage. Some Hamas fighters filmed themselves desecrating IDF corpses.
Based on that footage, it is evident that al-Qassam Brigade and AQD fighters did not consistently make a reasonable distinction between Israeli combatants and civilians and that their actions were frequently disproportionate. Most people would consider those actions, not to mention the flaunting of them, evidence of “terrorism.”
That said, the majority of Hamas videos matter-of-factly showed IDF and other Israeli security personnel either captured or dead. Also notable was the large number of Telegram videos showing Hamas fighters moving around freely inside Israeli military bases, seemingly unchallenged.
In a public statement, the deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, Saleh al-Aruri, said that the al-Qassam brigades do not target civilians and act in accordance with international law. But Hamas’ own footage and its admitted history of targeting Israeli civilians indicate that Saleh al-Aruri’s assertions were unfounded propaganda.
While Israeli state atrocity propaganda is highly dubious, so, too, are some of the claims made by Hamas. For instance, following the release of some of the Israeli hostages, letters reportedly written by the hostages in praise of their Islamist captors started circulating online. The validity of those letters is highly questionable.
One such letter from released hostage Danielle Aloni supposedly thanked her captors for the fantastic care she and her daughter received while imprisoned. The letter was originally posted by the Hamas-affiliated Shebab news agency. Its authenticity—specifically the circumstances under which Danielle wrote it—was immediately questioned by Aloni’s family. Danielle declined to comment. Considering that her husband is still held hostage, she is almost certainly wary of criticising Hamas.
Extensive Burning and Destruction to Property Raises Questions
Israeli officials provided previously “unseen” footage to selected journalists showing what they claimed were Al-Aqsa Flood atrocities. The footage reportedly included shots of burned civilian corpses and was accompanied by IDF statements asserting that Hamas “terrorists” had raped, tortured and incinerated the victims.
While many Western legacy media journalists were distressed by the gruesome images they saw, some expressed reservations about the validity of the claims made about the videos. For example, Nicolas Coadou, a French journalist for BFN TV, was aware that the footage had been carefully edited by the IDF and presented only “what they [the IDF] want to show.”
There are reasons to question whether Israel’s attribution of responsibility for the exhibited slaughter is reliable. For example, there is photographic and video evidence from Kfar Aza—the alleged location of the baby beheading—showing that Israeli civilians were killed. In those images, there are clear signs of concentrated small arms fire consistent with an armed assault by the brigades involved in Al-Aqsa Flood. And yet legacy media reports also show completely destroyed dwellings that appear to have been shelled—and those images are not necessarily consistent with the reported Hamas attack on Kfar Aza.
Then there are the inconsistencies surrounding Kibbutz Be’eri, the site of another massacre, where a security team member for the Kibbutzim named Tuval Escapa coordinated communication with the Israeli police and the IDF. He reportedly told Haaretz:
[T]he [IDF] commanders in the field made difficult decisions — including shelling houses on their occupants in order to eliminate the terrorists without knowing whether the Israelis [hostages] in those buildings were alive or dead.
Only two Israelis survived the Kibbutz Be’eri massacre/shelling. On 15th October, Israeli state-owned radio broadcaster Kan 11 aired an interview with one of the survivors—Yasmin Porat. Her account, like Escapa’s remarks, casts significant doubt on who was responsible for most of the deaths at the Kibbutz.
Not only was Porat’s testimony largely consistent with Escapa’s but she also told the Haboker Hazeh (This Morning) program host Aryeh Golan that she was treated “very humanely” by the fighters who took her hostage. Consequently, her comments were soon censored by the state.
Specifically, Porat said she escaped when a Hamas fighter surrendered and took her as a human shield. She told of a gun battle between Israeli security forces and the al-Qassam Brigade. And she spoke of Israeli civilians being killed by the Israeli forces. In her words: “[T]hey [the Israeli forces] fired on everyone there [in Kibbutz Be’eri], including the hostages.” Unlike Escapa’s account, Porat’s version suggests that hostages were knowingly killed by Israeli forces.
In a longer interview with Kan 11 radio, given on 15th November, Porat’s account remained consistent—plus she was given more time to add further details. She said:
I stayed on the scene at Be’eri until 20:30hrs. [. . .] There [were] 14 hostages with 39 terrorists. [. . .] I tell them [Israeli security forces] where the hostages are and where the terrorists are. [. . .] I tried to explain to them [Israeli security forces] where all the hostages are. [. . .] I tell them there are 40 terrorists [. . .] [T]hey don’t believe me. [. . .] The army was also so naive. [. . .] It did not grasp the magnitude of the event. [. . .] For three hours I am at a very intense battle, but now I am on the side of the supposed good guys. [. . .] At a certain point a tank arrives at the house. I think it was about 19:00hrs or 19:30. [. . .] I think to myself why are they shooting tank shells at the house [Kibbutzim]. The girl [12-year-old Liel Hatsroni] did not stop screaming all those hours [a three-hour gun battle, but] when those two shells hit she stopped screaming. [. . .] That is pretty much when everyone died. [. . .] I estimate, based on what happened in other houses, she [Liel Hatsroni] apparently burnt completely. [. . .] The house [Kibbutz] is burned full of people.
Porat’s testimony appears to indicate that an unknown number of the burned corpses shown to the journalists were probably not killed by al-Qassam or Al-Quds Brigade fighters but were incinerated as a result of Israeli shelling or, possibly, Israeli missile strikes.
Some of the journalists who were shown the restricted IDF footage have reported what they saw. It seems they were not shown anything, beyond RPGs, that would seemingly account for the apparent evidence of shelling or missile strikes. They also reported that the presumably better trained fighters were conscious of conserving ammunition, with one observed giving the order:
Shoot them [IDF soldiers] just once in the head, save your ammo.
Other journalists have stated that they did not see any evidence of rape, deliberate infanticide or the burning of bodies by the al-Qassam or al-Quds Brigades, as alleged by the IDF and the Israeli state. They also noted that some of the fighters were endeavouring to make a distinction between civilians and military personnel.
Porat is far from the only civilian eyewitness to report extensive burning. Evidence of incineration was also observed at other massacre locations. Kibbutzim Kfar Aza survivor Avidor Schwartzman said, “[W]e saw our little piece of paradise, our little piece of heaven, was totally burnt.” Burnt-out houses and “torched cars” at Kibbutz Kfar Aza were also reported by others, and we’ve already discussed the similar evidence at Nir Oz.
Porat’s and Escapa’s testimonies reveal, moreover, that Israeli defence forces had a very poor grasp of the situation on the ground. Given the large scale of the Al-Aqsa Flood, it is hard to understand why they weren’t better informed. Did every Israeli satellite and drone simultaneously fail? Did Hamas not only take out all communications on the “Iron Wall” but every communication network in Israel too?
The Supernova Festival Massacre Anomalies
One of the first Western legacy media reports to inflame international anger was the account of the killings and hostage-taking at the Supernova music festival near Kibbutz Re’im. It is the worst single massacre in Israel’s history. Official Israeli sources set the current death toll at 364 people killed either at the festival or fleeing from it.
Keep in mind that it has been consistently alleged by the Israeli security establishment that Hamas didn’t know about the festival. In this article by Haaretz reporter Josh Breiner, Israeli intelligence sources are reported to have said that the al-Qassam and al-Quds Brigades discovered the festival by chance. The primary reason given for this conclusion was that “the first terrorists arrived at the location from Route 232, and not from the direction of the border.”
This supposedly opportunistic attack may account for more than one-third of all Al-Aqsa Flood civilian casualties. In addition, Hamas also took approximately 40 civilian hostages at the Supernova (aka Nova) festival.
There are some confusing inconsistencies with the official account. These require explanations that we don’t currently have.
It appears that the revellers started evacuating from the festival by fleeing eastward, across Route 232, as soon as a rocket siren was sounded at approximately 07:00hrs. If Hamas fighters approached along this route, they can’t have attacked the festival at this point, for, according to nearly all reports, they hadn’t reached the site at 07:00hrs.
After 07:00, Hamas fighters were reportedly moving northward, up Route 232. The BBC is among many media outlets to report Hamas gunmen shooting at vehicles and attacking civilians at 07:56 hrs, approximately 1.5KM south of the festival.
Hamas fighters were also engaged with armed Israeli police on Route 232 at 08:30hrs on the northern edge of the festival site. Therefore—if official statements can be believed—the first Hamas fighters to reach the festival must have been those approaching from the south. That conclusion can be drawn because the fighters approaching from the north were battling armed police at 08:30hrs.
Route 232 is also the road the al-Qassam and al-Quds Brigades reportedly took towards the Re’im military base, which, according to official sources, they had successfully seized by 10:00hrs. If, as is purported, they didn’t know about the nearby festival, then taking the Re’im base must have been their primary objective. Given the Re’im base’s role in coordinating the IDF response, this makes sense.
What this unfolding tale suggests, if it is accurate, is that the Hamas fighters south of the festival site, closest to the Re’im military base, were no longer needed in that element of the operation as early at 07:50hrs. This would indicate that they faced virtually no resistance in taking the base. Another possibility is that the opportunity to seize of hostages from a festival became operationally more important to Hamas than securing a key military objective, though that sounds highly unlikely.
The Washington Post reported systematic killing by Hamas when its units overran the entire festival area, opened fire into the crowd (though it had largely disbursed following an air raid siren at least an hour earlier), grabbed as many hostages as possible, blocked roads, ambushed escaping cars and launched multiple search and destroy missions. According to the Post, Hamas was hunting for the festival-goers who were scattered across the area and ended up killing more than 350 of them with small arms.
If such reports are true—a possibility, considering how consistent they are—what they describe is a remarkable feat of spontaneous military coordination.
To explain: the original targets of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Brigades were supposedly static Kibbutzim and a crucial military base. They had not supposedly planned to chase thousands of people fleeing a party in all directions across the countryside. Yet they managed not only to achieve their main objectives (taking the region’s kibbutzes and the Re’im base) but also orchestrate a highly complex, multi-faceted operation that involved attacking an enormous target they allegedly weren’t expecting to find.
If Hamas had indeed killed many revellers, fought heavily armed police and rounded up hostages at the festival, then it is extremely difficult to envisage how this could have been anything other than a planned attack.
But why, then, would the Israeli state and Israeli media wish to claim otherwise? Perhaps planning suggests a significant security breach had occurred? For, as widely reported:
The attendees had not been given the exact location of the festival until a few hours before it began at 10 p.m. Friday.
Furthermore, the largest single loss of civilian life of the entire Al-Aqsa Flood operation wouldn’t have occurred at all had the festival’s duration not been extended for some unknown reason. It was due to end on Friday night but on the preceding Tuesday had been extended to Saturday, 7th October. None of the festival-goers knew in advance of the extension.
The Route 232 Anomalies
On 15th October the IDF shared footage depicting its claimed strikes on al-Qassam and al-Quds Brigade fighters near the Gaza border. This original footage was subsequently repurposed and shared on social media. The accounts that reposted it claimed that it showed Israeli Apache attack helicopters firing at festival-goers. This was not true. The footage showed Israeli helicopters attacking ground forces closer to the Gazan border. Whether intentional or not, this new description of the footage was effectively pro-Hamas propaganda.
However, the Israeli police did state: “[A]n IDF combat helicopter that arrived to the scene and fired at terrorists there apparently also hit some festival participants.” So, it seems some festival deaths may have been the result of Israeli gunfire. There is more evidence to support this contention.
Referring to the original footage of helicopter gunship attacks on the border, not the festival, Col. Nof Erez, a senior IDF reserve helicopter pilot, told Haaretz that the carnage he had seen appeared to be a “mass Hannibal.” The Hannibal Procedure was a controversial IDF policy that directed IDF soldiers to kill their own comrades instead of allowing them to be taken hostage. It was supposedly abandoned in 2008, but Col. Erez appeared to contradict that alleged fact when he said:
The Hannibal directive was probably deployed because once you detect a hostage situation, this is Hannibal.
The Israeli media outlet Yedioth Ahronoth (Ynetnews) recounted what military officials said about the initial Israeli military response. The IDF troops of the Gaza division and Southern Command were primarily deployed elsewhere and were many hours away from responding. Consequently, the first reaction came from IDF ground attack helicopters which were dispatched to shoot the “terrorists”—according to the Ynet quote of an Israeli official:
[P]ilots realized that there was tremendous difficulty in distinguishing within the outposts and the occupied settlements who was a terrorist and who was a soldier or civilian, [so] a decision was made that the first task of the combat helicopters [. . .] was to stop the flow of terrorists[. . . .] 28 combat helicopters fired all the ammunition in their bellies throughout the fighting day. [There were] hundreds of 30mm cannon shells (the effect of a spray grenade for each shell) as well as Hellfire missiles. The rate of fire against the thousands of terrorists was tremendous at first, and only at a certain point did the pilots begin to slow down the attacks and carefully select the target[.]
Again, this suggests that Israeli civilians were at risk from “friendly fire.”
Hamas Brigades and its allies form a well–armed force—yet as the fighters approached the festival site along Route 232, they were filmed using only small arms—automatic weapons and hand grenades—and appeared to be without heavier weaponry.
We drove into the field and tried to hide from them [Hamas] [. . .] Afterwards we got a bit deeper into the fields and then they started firing sniper rifles on us from different places and also heavy artillery.
Heavy artillery? Whose?
Again, on Route 232, Israeli reports said “dozens of cars were parked in rows, some of them burnt husks containing charred bodies of young festival-goers who were shot and burned alive.” Hamas fighters were possibly equipped with kornet anti-tank missiles, which may account for some of this incendiary damage, especially to fuelled vehicles. But there are other possible explanations.
Israel officially reduced its Al-Aqsa death toll by approximately 200 to 1,200 Israelis from an initial 1,400. The higher count was due to the great number of bodies that were so badly burnt as to make fast identification impossible.
Clarifying Israel’s official position, government spokesperson Mark Regev said:
We originally said, in the atrocious Hamas attack upon our people on October 7th, we had the number at 1,400 casualties and now we’ve revised that down to 1,200 because we understood that we’d overestimated, we made a mistake. There were actually bodies that were so badly burnt we thought they were ours, in the end apparently they were Hamas terrorists.
Unless Hamas “terrorists” were killing each other, more than 14% of all casualties initially reported as victims of Al-Aqsa Flood were incinerated by Israeli forces. Yet the official Israeli account maintains that all other burnt bodies were burned beyond recognition solely by Hamas.
There is evidence that Israeli forces fired on their own Kibbutzim knowing that Israeli citizens would be killed. Israeli helicopter gunships, armed with large calibre machine guns and Hellfire missiles, were possibly following the Hannibal Procedure and were reportedly firing indiscriminately for many hours.
Indeed, at least one of their own attack helicopters had “hit” some Israeli civilians at the festival, according to Israeli police. Not many people survive being “hit” by a “ 30mm cannon.”
Add to that evidence the fact that eyewitnesses fleeing the festival reported “heavy artillery” and that much of the damage along Route 232 was consistent with artillery fire and missile strikes, not the use of small arms, there is considerable evidence that a potentially large number of Israeli civilians were killed by their own nation’s forces.
One eyewitness who was at the festival, Raziel Tamir, has made quite an extraordinary claim. He alleges that “Hamas terrorists were masquerading as IDF rescue forces, during the bloodbath, tricking Israelis into thinking they were running toward their saviours only to be gunned down instead.”
But we must ask: If Hamas fighters knew nothing about the festival until they stumbled upon it, then how did they have the foresight to bring Israeli disguises with them to the massacre? Armed Israeli police were known to have been at the festival site and were reportedly engaged with Hamas at 08:30hrs.
All we can say is that an Israeli eyewitness claimed that gunmen who looked like Israeli forces were killing festival-goers.
Without a full independent investigation, it is impossible to say how many Israelis were killed or injured by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad Brigades and how many were killed or injured by their own government’s military response.
Some will contend that this distinction doesn’t matter—that Hamas fighters killed many people, both Israeli security personnel and civilians, and that, sadly, in tackling the terrorists, it was impossible for Israel’s security forces to avoid all civilian casualties in the crossfire. As far as they’re concerned, Hamas is to blame for all the casualties, and that’s the end of it.
Was Al-Aqsa Flood a False Flag?
In Part 2, we will explore the evidence that shows Hamas was created by Israel and continues to be funded with the assistance of Israel. Israel has repeatedly demonstrated that its intelligence operatives are deeply embedded inside the Gaza Strip and within Hamas. And we can safely say that the surveillance technology Israel deploys to monitor Hamas movements is unparalleled.
We know, too, that Israel did not act on any of the many warnings it received—including some from Hamas itself—that Al-Aqsa Flood was imminent. Instead, it left crucial surveillance control centres like Nahal Oz and key defensive military posts like Re’im dangerously exposed at precisely the wrong moment. The so-called “failures” appear to have been too numerous to have happened by chance. Some degree of Israeli state complicity seems likely.
Such speculation does not infer that Hamas was incapable of planning and executing an operation like Al-Aqsa Flood autonomously. Nor does it suggest that Hamas knowingly acted in the interests of elements within Israel—although, as we shall discuss in Part 2, there are reasons to suspect some possible collusion. The suspicion of Israeli culpability is not based upon an assumption that Israeli intelligence or its defence forces are infallible. Publishing the location of one’s own “secret” military bases, as Israel did in 2021, is definitely not standard operating procedure.
Searching for the truth is not an act of disrespect to the memory of those killed on 7th October. The charges of disrespect are both illogical and morally redundant.
The State of Israel has cited the Al-Aqsa Flood as the casus belli for its latest round of genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza and in the West Bank. If there is no investigation into the number of Israelis who were potentially killed by Israeli forces, it would be not only an injustice to bereaved Israeli families but also an act—by calculated omission—of heaping one obscenity on top of another.
Rumours circulated that the IDF and Israeli military intelligence had supposedly “lost” all of the relevant footage and communication intercept recordings of the initial phase of Al-Aqsa Flood. IDF command was quick to quash the rumours, but its official explanation is no less suspicious.
It stated that the recordings were “preserved and accessible to the relevant parties,” but added that the video and audio records had been “blocked to those who are not required to deal with them.” This apparently represents a significant and inexplicable elevation of the necessary security clearance.
The Jerusalem Post reported that when IDF operatives, including relatively senior IDF officers, tried to access the recordings, in order to analyze events and hopefully discover why crucial systems and procedures seemingly “failed,” they found their normal permissions had been restricted and they were no longer authorised to conduct a standard review.
Reportedly, IDF sources told the Jerusalem Post:
Some of the recordings have either disappeared or were simply downloaded from the network and relocated under the directives of commanding officers. Consequently, we are unable to access them. [. . .] It seems that someone made a deliberate choice to either transfer or delete these recordings to ensure that no one could listen to them. These recordings are vital, as they provide a comprehensive account of what transpired and what actions need to be taken, with particular emphasis on the critical, initial eight hours, including moments when there was a lack of communication channels.
The picture of what happened on October 7th is not as clear-cut as we have been led to believe. The evidence suggests that elements within the Israeli state were willing to allow the attack to proceed. It is distinctly possible that Al-Aqsa Flood was a LIHOP false flag terrorist attack.
A LIHOP false flag attack is fundamentally a crime. It is treason. It is complicity in mass murder (certainly in this case). It is wilful negligence and malfeasance by government officials—either acting as individuals or as coordinated groups. A criminal act occurs when the guilty party has the means, the opportunity, and the motive to commit a crime.
Al-Aqsa Flood obviously benefited a number of interest groups other than Hamas. While LIHOP would require the complicity of groups within the Israeli state, there are also groups outside of Israel with possible motives to assist or encourage an Israel-sponsored LIHOP false flag terrorist attack.
We will explore these motives and consider who stood to gain from Al-Aqsa Flood in Part 2.