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Underground Operations: Hamas Allegedly Utilized Tunnel Phone Lines for Covert Planning of Israel Attack, Intelligence Sources Report

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Covert Communications: Hamas Utilized Tunnel Phones for Long-Term Attack Planning

Recent intelligence shared with the United States unveils a clandestine operation by a small Hamas cell planning a surprise attack on Israel. According to informed sources, this group communicated through a network of hardwired phones integrated into the intricate tunnel system beneath Gaza over a span of two years. The utilization of these tunnel phone lines enabled secure communication, making it difficult for Israeli intelligence to trace their activities.

The cell, operating in the tunnels, maintained secrecy by avoiding digital communication tools like computers or cell phones to elude detection by Israeli and US intelligence. The sources reveal that during the two-year planning period, the operatives refrained from extensive discussions and coordination beyond their immediate vicinity. The attack, initiated on October 7, involved calling upon hundreds of Hamas fighters.

Insights from Israeli intelligence, shared with US officials, highlight how Hamas employed classic counterintelligence tactics. The group conducted planning meetings in person, avoiding digital communication susceptible to Israeli tracking. The reliance on hardwired phones within the tunnels allowed Hamas to conceal their preparations effectively.

While CNN has not seen the specific intelligence, sources familiar with it provide details on Hamas's meticulous planning, shedding light on why both Israel and the US were caught off guard by the October 7 attack. The assault involved at least 1,500 fighters crossing the border into Israel, resulting in casualties on both sides.

The Israel Defense Forces, recognizing the significance of the intricate tunnel network built by Hamas over the past fifteen years, colloquially refers to it as the "Gaza metro." These tunnels serve various purposes, from storing rockets and ammunition to providing covert passages for militants. Additionally, the IDF asserts the presence of vital Hamas command and control centers within this labyrinthine network.

Insights from a Survivor: Tunnels, Training, and Compartmentalization in Hamas Assault

Yocheved Lifshitz, an 85-year-old grandmother recently released by Hamas, provides a chilling account of her captivity. Following her abduction, Lifshitz was taken into the labyrinthine network of tunnels where she slept on a floor mattress. Sources familiar with the Hamas assault reveal that the small cell strategically waited until just before the attack to brief a larger group of fighters above ground, ensuring operational secrecy.

Ground unit commanders and fighters, although trained for months, were only informed of specific plans in the days leading up to the operation. This compartmentalization tactic, as described by a source, is crucial for maintaining tight security. Some training activities observed above ground did not raise major concerns initially, as they seemed consistent with routine practices.

The sources also highlight Iran's historical role in assisting Hamas with operational security tactics, although there is no indication of direct Iranian involvement in planning the October 7 attack. It underscores the evolving nature of regional dynamics, with militant groups adapting and refining their strategies over time.

Israel, having prior knowledge of Palestinian militants using hardwired communication systems, encountered a similar setup during the military raid in Jenin earlier this year. The IDF discovered secure communication lines and surveillance cameras providing advance warning of troop movements. This find emphasized the importance of such hubs for coordination and communication among militant cells.

As these intricate details emerge, the aftermath of the Hamas attack prompts a reevaluation of intelligence practices and counterterrorism strategies in the region. The story of Lifshitz, along with intelligence insights, adds a layer of complexity to understanding the evolving landscape of asymmetric threats.

Unveiling the Layers: A Conclusion to the Hamas Assault Revelations

The revelations surrounding the recent Hamas assault bring forth a tapestry of complexity in the tactics employed by the militant group. Yocheved Lifshitz's firsthand account adds a poignant layer to the narrative, detailing the eerie reality of being held captive in the network of tunnels beneath Gaza. These tunnels, once again, emerge as a focal point in a meticulously planned operation that caught both Israel and the US off guard.

The strategic decision to keep specific plans compartmentalized until just before the attack showcases the adeptness of Hamas in operational security. Ground unit commanders and fighters, trained for months, were only brought into the loop in the days leading up to the operation, highlighting the group's commitment to secrecy.

The influence of Iran on Hamas's operational security tactics over the years is a notable aspect, demonstrating the interconnected dynamics shaping regional conflicts. While the October 7 attack wasn't directly attributed to Iran, the shared history underscores the fluidity of alliances and partnerships in the Middle East.

The parallels drawn with the Israeli raid in Jenin earlier this year, where a similar communication setup was encountered, emphasize the recurring nature of certain tactics. It raises questions about the evolving nature of asymmetric threats and the adaptability of militant groups in the face of evolving intelligence practices.

As the layers of this story unfold, it prompts a reflection on the ever-changing landscape of counterterrorism efforts. The complexity of these revelations underscores the ongoing challenges faced by nations in navigating the intricacies of regional conflicts and safeguarding against asymmetric threats.

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