A document drawn up by the Israeli army’s military intelligence on September 19, 2023 warned that Hamas was training for a large-scale invasion of the Jewish state, according to information revealed on Tuesday by Israeli public broadcaster Kan News, citing anonymous security sources.

According to Kan News, the document details a series of exercises carried out by elite Hamas units, including raids on Israeli towns and military posts. Notably, this was to include mass hostage-taking, with the training focusing on how to take soldiers and civilians hostage. The report estimated the number of hostages targeted at 200-250, equivalent to the 251 captured during the October 7 attack.

However, the document estimated the number of fighters crossing the border between Gaza and Israel at several dozen, in the most extreme case. In other words, far fewer than the thousands who actually entered the territory of the Hebrew state on the morning of October 7.

According to Kan News, the document was known to senior intelligence officials, who ignored it. The government and senior military officials claimed that they had not been warned of the imminence of a planned invasion at the time.

This development comes at a time when an inquiry commissioned by the Israeli General Staff is due to present its initial findings on the failings of the Israeli security apparatus in the coming weeks, while military officials and the Netanyahu government continue to accuse each other of responsibility.