Palestinian militant group Hamas on Saturday completely took Israel by surprise with an unprecedented attack that has already seen more than 700 Israelis massacred and more than 100 dragged away into Gaza as hostages.
The attacks, which Israeli former military general Yaakov Amidror said were made possible by a ‘huge failure of the intelligence system and military apparatus’, came by land and air with Hamas gunmen flying into Israel using paragliders while other units cut wires in border fences and bulldozed walls to enter the country.
Harrowing videos captured by Hamas insurgents using helmet-mounted GoPro cameras and smartphones showed how unsuspecting Israeli soldiers were gunned down in their barracks while others were beaten, tied up and frogmarched away or bundled into cars and pickup trucks.
In other clips, Hamas fighters are seen gliding across the border and landing near a rural site holding a musical festival, where they proceeded to mow down some 260 unarmed partygoers in cold blood.
Now, with Israel’s security services still reeling, the defence forces and air force have retaliated with brutal ferocity, pounding the Gaza Strip with air strikes and missile attacks that they claim hit more than 1,000 Hamas targets in the past two days – though videos circulating social media showed how rockets left Palestinian civilians screaming in the streets as residential buildings were destroyed.
Roughly 1,000 gunmen cut wires in border fences, bulldozed walls and even used speedboats to get into Israeli territory
Harrowing videos captured by Hamas insurgents using helmet-mounted GoPro cameras and smartphones showed how unsuspecting Israeli soldiers were gunned down in their barracks while civilians were beaten, tied up and frogmarched away
Hamas gunmen are seen storming a compound just across the border
Hamas fighters slaughtered hundreds but took dozens more prisoner
Though many Israelis were shot dead, some were rounded up and forcibly removed from Israel, taken back across the border into Gaza as hostages
Hamas fighters circumvented Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip by flying in via paraglider, according to the Israeli military (pictured: an alleged paraglider crossing into Israel
Hamas drone controllers guided explosives into Israeli guard posts and watchtowers, crippling their ability to monitor where the attacks were coming from
Israel’s army said hundreds of Hamas militants attacked from around 6:30am on Saturday, the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, in an assault that came 50 years after the outbreak of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
The Islamist group fired thousands of rockets into Israel with no warning, attacking military and civilian targets alike.
Meanwhile, more than 1,000 militants streamed into Israel from Gaza.
The majority used explosives, bulldozers and wire cutters to blow holes in border walls and fences that contain more than 2 million Palestinians into camps in the Gaza Strip and flooded into the cities of Ashkelon, Ofakim and Sderot as well as many other smaller settlements.
At the same time, drone controllers guided explosives into Israeli guard posts and watchtowers, crippling their ability to monitor where the attacks were coming from.
While civilians and soldiers in Israel’s cities faced a lightning ground assault, hundreds of revellers at the Supernova music festival close to the border with Gaza came under attack from the air.
Music at the deadly rave, which survivors said initially had ‘good vibes’, played all night until around 6.30am, when a siren began blaring warning of rockets.
Festivalgoers knew there was a risk of rocket attacks. But they didn’t expect a gunmen to come soaring overhead in paragliders before landing and storming the site, firing indiscriminately into the crowd.
Footage posted on Tiktok, shot soon after sunrise, saw the camera zoom in on grey dots in the air, which turned out to be Palestinian militants.
Moments later, the dancing stops and terror ensues as festival goers are forced to run for their lives when the Hamas fighters began shooting.
Meanwhile, footage posted by Hamas militants earlier today showed how their troops learning how to paraglide and practicing their attack, landing with their weapons drawn before infiltrating mock-up buildings marked with the Jewish Star of David.
In the stunning clip, fighters from the ‘Falcon’ squadron were seen walking through the sand at dawn carrying the equipment that would be used in the operation.
Video shows them starting up the engines with parachutes stretched out on a sandy strip of land before one of the buggies carrying two men takes off.
Several paragliders can then be seen hovering in the low light above the desert scrub before they land beside a village with their rifles drawn and storm the buildings, opening fire on targets.
Israeli festival goers could be seen dancing in the desert at dawn on Saturday, completely unawares that within minutes members of the Hamas militant group were about to descend from the skies and inflict terror
Hamas militants are seen standing outside of armoured trucks as they conduct their assault
Armoured vehicles stormed border checkpoints and compounds near the Gaza Strip
Hamas used explosives, bulldozers and wire cutters to blow holes in border walls and fences that contain more than 2 million Palestinians into camps in the Gaza Strip and flooded into the cities of Ashkelon, Ofakim and Sderot as well as many other smaller settlements
Footage posted by Hamas militants earlier today showed how their troops learning how to paraglide and practicing their attack
By Monday morning, official estimates put the number of Israeli civilians and soldiers killed at over 700, a huge toll for a country of less than 10 million people.
‘It’s a huge failure of the intelligence system and the military apparatus in the south,’ said retired military general Yaakov Amidror, who served as Israel’s national security advisor in 2011-2013.
But beyond the operational failure of Israel’s vaunted intelligence services to detect the well-organised attack and the army’s inability to block it, Israel’s broader take on Hamas was entirely flawed, Amidror said.
‘We made a huge mistake, including me, in believing a terror organisation can change its DNA,’ he told journalists.
‘We heard from our friends around the world that they’re behaving more responsibly, and we believed it in our stupidity,’ said Amidror, currently a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security.
On Saturday, Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said that when he was head of the military’s southern command in 2009, he wanted to ‘break the neck’ of Hamas but was stopped by the political echelon.
Now, as the man who along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu determines the course of the war, Gallant was no longer subject to restraints.
‘We will change the reality on the ground in Gaza’, he vowed.
‘What was before, will be no more.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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