A Day of Chaos: Unmasking the IDF’s Unprecedented Failure during the attack by Hamas on October 7, 2023

The New York Times' in-depth investigation into Israel's military unpreparedness during the October 7 Hamas attack
The New York Times in-depth investigation into Israel's military unpreparedness during the October 7 Hamas attack

The New York Times‘ in-depth investigation into Israel’s military unpreparedness during the October 7 Hamas attack.

An article by The New York Times published on December 30, 2023, presents a detailed account of a catastrophic failure by the Israeli military during a surprise, large-scale attack by Hamas on October 7, 2023. This in-depth investigation uncovers how Hamas terrorists managed to breach Israel’s borders at over 30 locations, disable robotic machine guns, take control of major roadways, attack military bases, and invade neighborhoods, leading to the death and kidnapping of hundreds of civilians. Shockingly, the article highlights the almost complete absence of the Israeli military during these critical hours of invasion.

Authored by Adam Goldman, Ronen Bergman, Mark Mazzetti, and others, the piece details the chaos and disorganization that plagued the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) from the outset. Despite early morning reports of Hamas rocket fire and an urgent plea from a commander at the border for reinforcements, the military’s leadership, stationed in a bunker known as The Pit in Tel Aviv, failed to comprehend the magnitude of the attack. It wasn’t until more than an hour into the assault that the first deployment instructions were issued. By this time, Hamas’s invasion was already well underway.

As the situation unfolded, the article reveals, civilians found themselves abandoned, desperately fending for themselves while calling for help. The IDF’s response was not only delayed but also haphazard and inefficient. Soldiers communicated through impromptu WhatsApp groups and relied on social media posts for targeting information. Commandos, under-equipped and under-prepared, were rushed into battle, and helicopter pilots were instructed to use news reports and Telegram channels to choose targets.

One of the most damning findings of the investigation is that the IDF had no comprehensive plan to respond to a large-scale Hamas invasion on Israeli soil. This revelation is at odds with a core principle of Israeli military doctrine, which emphasizes always being on the offensive and anticipating attacks to fight battles on enemy territory. The report notes that Israeli security and military agencies had consistently underestimated Hamas’s intentions and capabilities, clinging to an optimistic view even when faced with evidence to the contrary.

The article provides a vivid recounting of the day’s events, drawing on internal government documents, military records, footage from body cameras worn by terrorists, and interviews with dozens of officers, troops, and eyewitnesses. These sources collectively paint a picture of a military caught off guard, lacking in resources, and without a coherent strategy. The assault on the Re’im military base, a critical command center, symbolizes the extent of the military’s unpreparedness, with many soldiers unaware of the attack until Hamas forces were virtually upon them.

In the aftermath, the Israeli government has promised a comprehensive inquiry into the military’s failings. The New York Times article not only sheds light on the events of October 7 but also prompts broader questions about the readiness and resilience of one of the world’s most advanced militaries. It exposes a series of deep-seated issues, from intelligence failures to a dangerous complacency, that led to a day of unprecedented chaos and loss. The ramifications of this event, both for the IDF’s strategy and for Israeli society’s trust in its military, are likely to be far-reaching.

Read the original article here


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