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Media find out how Hamas deceived Israeli Intelligence

Wednesday, 25 October 2023, 12:58
Media find out how Hamas deceived Israeli Intelligence
Photo: Getty Images

A small group of Hamas militants planning a surprise attack on Israel has been communicating for two years through a network of wired phones embedded in a network of tunnels under Gaza, the intelligence shared with the United States reports. 

Source: CNN, citing two sources familiar with the matter 

Quote: "The phone lines in the tunnels allowed the operatives to communicate with one another in secret and meant they could not be tracked by Israeli intelligence officials, the sources told CNN.


During the two years of planning, the small cell operating in the tunnels used the hardwired phone lines to communicate and plan the operation but stayed dark until it was time to activate and call on hundreds of Hamas fighters to launch the October 7 attack." 

Details: Hamas militants avoided using computers or mobile phones for two years to avoid detection by Israeli or US Intelligence, the sources say. 

Intelligence shared by Israel with US officials shows how Hamas concealed the planning of the operation using old-fashioned counterintelligence measures, such as holding face-to-face meetings and abandoning digital communications, which the Israelis could monitor, in favour of wired phones in tunnels. 


The media did not see specific intelligence data but spoke to sources familiar with it. 

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment, and the Israeli Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment. 

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) colloquially refer to the tunnels built by Hamas over the past 15 years as the "Gaza Subway." 

The tunnels form a huge labyrinth, which is used to store missiles and caches with ammunition, as well as for the inconspicuous movement of militants. 

The IDF also claimed that vital Hamas command and control centres are located there.

Israel knew that Palestinian militants were using wired communication systems even before the October attack. 

An Israeli official said he encountered a similar communications system when the Israeli military raided the city of Jenin in the northern part of West Bank of Jordan this summer. 

When Israeli forces entered the city as part of Operation Home and Garden, the IDF uncovered secure wire lines and CCTV cameras for early warning of Israeli troop movements. 

At the time, the IDF said it had struck a joint operational command centre used by militant cells in Jenin, saying it was used for "advanced surveillance and intelligence." As the IDF reported, it was a "centre of coordination and communication between terrorists." 


  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalated on 7 October when Hamas attacked Israel with missiles.
  • On the same day, militants broke through the border and attacked the Supernova electronic music festival, killing some of the participants and taking them hostage.
  • On 9 October, Israel announced that Israeli forces had regained control over all settlements on the border with Gaza.
  • On 10 October, the Israel Defence Forces said that several projectiles had been launched towards Israel from Syrian territory.
  • Israel is currently planning a ground offensive against the Gaza Strip that can last up to three months.

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