May 28, 2024

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How did Hamas penetrate the Israeli “iron wall”?

Huge and complex The attack on Israel on Saturday by militants from the Gaza Strip stunned Israelis who watched in horror The fighters easily bypassed one of the most advanced security systems in the world.

At least 900 people were killed in Israel and more than 2,600 were injured. More than 100 people were captured. Israel bombed the Gaza Strip with air strikes, killing at least 680 people, according to Palestinian authorities.

the The “smart fence” separating Israel from Gaza is equipped with the latest technology and is designed to detect any security breach. This is how the militants succeeded.

In 2021 Israel Announce Completion of the “Smart Fence,” a 40-mile barrier along the Gaza Strip that includes an underground concrete barrier.

It was the project Announce publicly In 2016, after Hamas used underground tunnels to attack Israeli forces in the 2014 war. It needed more than 140 thousand tons of iron and steel, According to ReutersInstalling hundreds of cameras, radars and sensors. Access near the fence on the Gaza side was limited to farmers on foot. On the Israeli side, watchtowers and sand dunes were erected to monitor threats and slow down intruders.

In 2021, then-Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the barrier constituted an “iron wall” between Hamas and southern Israel.

But on Saturday, a surprising series of coordinated efforts enabled Hamas to cross the fence. The fence was breached at 29 points, according to the Israeli army. despite the existence of Israeli guard towers were stationed every 500 feet along the perimeter of the wall. At some points, it appears that the fighters faced little resistance.

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The border was minimally staffed, and it soon became clear, With a large part of the Israeli army diverted to focus on the unrest in the West Bank.

“The most compelling parts of the system are those that have provided indicators and warnings,” said Matthew Levitt, director of the Counterterrorism Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “But once you don’t see ahead of time that someone is gathered at the fence, it’s still just a fence. A big fence, but it’s just a fence.”

Drones dropped explosives

Using commercial drones, Hamas bombed Israeli watchtowers, communications infrastructure and weapons systems along the border.

Coordinated missile launch and man power

Israel said that Hamas fired more than 3,000 rockets into the country, some of which reached Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The militants flew on hang gliders across the border.

Explosives along the fence

The militants also used explosives to blow up parts of the barrier. Men on motorcycles traveled through the gaps.

Bulldozers did the rest, making enough room for larger vehicles to pass.

Experts said the attack would have required at least weeks of preparation and subterfuge.

Michael E. said: “The key is to move the equipment into place weeks in advance, and then put it in buildings or under tarps,” said O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He noted that many of the vehicles could have been hidden in plain sight in parking lots or construction zones.

However, “the idea of ​​a large tractor getting that close to the fence absolutely boggles the mind,” Levitt said.

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