The The 7 October Hamas Attack

A Preliminary Assessment of the Israeli Intelligence, Military and Policy Failures

doi: 10.32565/aarms.2024.1.5


On 7 October 2023, Palestinian militants led by Hamas launched a complex coordinated attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip, triggering an Israeli ground invasion combined with an aerial bombing campaign. The Hamas fighters killed around 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostages, while the death toll from Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip exceeded 31,600 in mid-March 2024. The Hamas attack not only shocked the whole world but also caught most people by surprise. Probably only a few could have imagined that the Palestinian organisation that controls the Gaza Strip could carry out such an attack on Israel. Following 7 October, several questions arose. Why Israeli intelligence could not predict the attack, and why did security and defence forces not react in time? The Israeli Government promised a full investigation once the Gaza ground offensive launched in response to the attack was over. But even without knowing more details of the events, we might still be able to provide a preliminary assessment of the surrounding Israeli intelligence failures based on the reports and accounts made public in the international media. Three months after the attack, the publicly available information showed that the Israel Defense Forces were unprepared and there was no battle plan in place in case Hamas militants broke out of the Gaza Strip with large forces. Clarifying what happened will be crucial not only to learn from the mistakes, but also because other actors or adversaries can learn from Hamas and copy its tactics.


Israel Hamas Palestine Gaza terrorism

How to Cite

Selján, P. (2024) “The The 7 October Hamas Attack: A Preliminary Assessment of the Israeli Intelligence, Military and Policy Failures”, AARMS – Academic and Applied Research in Military and Public Management Science. Budapest, 23(1), pp. 81–98. doi: 10.32565/aarms.2024.1.5.


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