An Israeli army unit monitoring the border with the Gaza Strip warned the command about suspicious militant activity, but these reports were ignored. Haaretz writes about this after talking with employees.
According to employees, the command ignored these messages due to sexism and ageism. “This is a unit made up entirely of young girls and young female commanders. There is no doubt that if men were sitting at these screens, everything would be different,” said one of the soldiers.
The reports contained information about the training of the group’s fighters Hamas on overcoming obstacles, the active use of vehicles, and the emerging equipment to disable cameras.
Groups of women observers (in Hebrew “Tatspitanit”, plural “Tatspitaniyot”) are part of the Border Defense Corps and operate along the country’s borders. They are called the “eyes of the army” for providing the IDF with intelligence 24/7. Employees collect information using cameras and sensors, and then transmit the message to the intelligence service. Only women are engaged in surveillance, Haaretz noted in 2022. That year, several female military personnel complained to the newspaper about neglect from the command and unbearable conditions of service.
A soldier named Ilana told the publication that the militants began launching drones every day two months before the attack; the devices flew close to the fences. A month and a half before the attack, the military noticed how an exact copy of an IDF observation post had been built at one of the Hamas training camps, and the militants began to practice an attack on this facility. According to her, the warning about this was ignored. Another unnamed soldier said he saw a replica of a Merkava Mark 4 tank being built in Gaza and practiced destroying it.
In addition, late at night on October 7, the day of the attack, the army command nevertheless raised the alarm after the attacks on populated areas, but the observer units were not warned about this. “The IDF left us easy prey. The fighters at least had weapons and were killed like heroes. The female scouts were abandoned by the army and simply killed without being able to defend themselves,” said an employee named Yara.
Reuters sources in the Israeli intelligence services admitted that Hamas’s preparations were noticed, but the militants managed to convince Tel Aviv that it did not want war and focused on economic issues. The group, along with communications channels tapped by Israel, used those that the IDF did not know about, hiding its true intentions. “They were creating an alternative reality,” said former deputy head of the Israeli National Security Council Eran Etzion.
Experts told RBC that the militants were helped by the use of old-fashioned methods, while the Israeli military relied on technological innovations. The militants did not turn on any technical means, which helped them go unnoticed by means of identifying enemy electronics.