According to documents, emails and interviews obtained by The New York Times, Israeli officials had access to an extensive combat plan for Hamas’ terrorist attack on Oct. 7, over a year before it was executed. The document, code-named “Jericho Wall,” laid out a detailed blueprint for a devastating invasion that resulted in around 1,200 casualties.
The translated document revealed a methodical assault designed to overwhelm Israeli fortifications around the Gaza Strip, targeting major Israeli cities and military bases. The plan outlined a barrage of rockets, the use of drones, and an influx of armed combatants to breach Israeli defenses by air and land – all of which were executed by Hamas on Oct. 7.
Alarmingly, the plan also provided detailed information about Israeli military forces, communication centers, and other sensitive intelligence. The fact that Hamas was able to gather such precise intelligence raised questions about potential leaks within the Israeli security establishment.
Despite the extensive nature of the plan, Israeli military and intelligence experts dismissed it at the time, believing it was beyond Hamas’ capabilities. Throughout the year leading up to the attack, several warning signs were overlooked, including a training exercise conducted by Hamas that closely mirrored the “Jericho Wall” attack plan.
Had these warnings been taken seriously, many have suggested that the deadly attacks could have potentially been averted. The failure to react appropriately to these signs has led to severe criticism of Israeli intelligence and military officials.
Israeli officials acknowledge that the failure to protect the country was significant and have since been urged to establish a commission to analyze the events leading up to the tragic attacks. A top-secret memorandum from 2016, signed by the then Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, had warned of Hamas’ ambitions for an invasion and hostage-taking, providing information regarding Hamas’ advanced arsenal and growing fighting force.
Critically, the Israeli military failed to recognize both the ambition and capacity of Hamas, dismissing mounting evidence and intelligence that should have suggested otherwise. This underestimation led to a catastrophic outcome, resulting in the deadliest day in Israel’s history.
While the Israeli military and intelligence agencies have declined to comment on these revelations, it is clear that the Wall of Jericho document was a grave intelligence failure. These findings shed light on an alarming miscalculation and a missed opportunity to avert a tragedy.