Hamas and allied terrorist factions also dragged at least 239 hostages — including some 30 children — back to the Gaza Strip, where they remain captive…reports Asian Lite News
In 2016, then Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman had drafted an 11-page document warning of Hamas plans to burst through the Gaza border, overrun communities in southern Israel, staging massacres and taking hostages, media reported.
The document, parts of which were published by the Yedioth Ahronoth daily on Monday, eerily presages many elements of the October 7 onslaught and indicates that Israeli officials had been aware for several years of the potential for such a Hamas assault, but apparently did not take the warnings seriously enough, Times of Israel reported.
That Saturday morning (October 7), some 2,500 terrorists burst into Israel by land, sea and air, killing over 1,400 people, a majority of them civilians, in their homes and at an outdoor music festival. Hamas and allied terrorist factions also dragged at least 239 hostages — including some 30 children — back to the Gaza Strip, where they remain captive.
“Hamas intends to take the conflict into Israeli territory by sending a significant number of well-trained forces (like the Nukhba [commandos] for example) into Israel to try and capture an Israeli community (or maybe even several communities) on the Gaza border and take hostages,” Lieberman wrote in the document, which was labelled ‘top secret’, Times of Israel reported.
“Beyond the physical harm to the people, this will also lead to significant harm to the morale and feelings of the citizens of Israel.”
In an interview on Saturday, Lieberman mentioned the document, saying he gave it to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in December 2016, warning that Hamas would attack in “precisely the way it did” on October 7 if its capabilities were not dismantled, Times of Israel reported.
Lieberman, who unlike Benny Gantz and his party has so far opted not to join Netanyahu’s war cabinet, said Netanyahu had to be persuaded to raise the issue at a cabinet meeting, where the document was “waved away dismissively”, including by security chiefs, and that he was made to feel “arrogant” for having presented it, the report said.