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How Can it Possibly Have Happened??

As I sit in my home, watching my children during these challenging times, I can't help but reflect on how fortunate we are compared to the families in the South. Israel has faced its own September 11th moment, perhaps even graver. The equivalent ratio of 700 dead Israelis (a number that's likely to rise) would be nearly 25,000 Americans.

As the identities of the deceased begin to emerge, we are shocked to learn that Hamas militants have killed Israeli combatants, including soldiers from elite units and officers. The stories about innocent civilians being murdered and kidnapped in their homes, and the massacre of hundreds of young Israelis at a party, are heart-wrenching. Reports of torture, rape, and executions arise, leading us to question: How is this possible? Isn't Israel a regional powerhouse? Isn't the IDF the most formidable army in the region?


This question is multifaceted, but in a nutshell: a conceptual gap led to an operational gap, leading to the horrific results.

On a conceptual level, Israeli leaders have been trapped in their own mindset. Hamas was seen as a tactical nuisance, and the government even tried to bolster it at the expense of the Palestinian Authority. Israel allowed the delivery of Qatari cash in suitcases to Hamas, mistakenly believing that economic stability would overcome ideology. Despite many warnings (to which I’ve also contributed) that focusing on the legal reform harms national security, the government persisted in its course. Even the IDF, according to reports, warned the government of our adversaries' perception of a historic moment of vulnerability. Yet, neither the government nor even the IDF acted as if they understood these warnings.


Man standing in face of the abyss

This led to an operational gap. Due to the Israeli mindset, Hamas's success stemmed from their numerical advantage. Hamas launched a coordinated attack using explosive drones, and thousands of missiles and rockets targeting Israeli positions and cities. About a thousand Hamas militants simultaneously infiltrated eight positions, primarily overland, through numerous border fence points, using motorcycles, Toyota vehicles with machine guns, and on foot. The success of Hamas is primarily anchored in the fact that it outnumbered the Israeli army in the Gaza surroundings. It captured or killed the entire command chain in the area, soldiers at the posts and tank crews. Communication capabilities that could have been used to call for reinforcements were destroyed. Then, hundreds more terrorists and Gazan civilians looted the bases, obtaining highly classified equipment and materials.


Meanwhile, elite Hamas squads attacked Gaza border communities, killing guards and moving from house to house, slaughtering, murdering, and burning homes. They also took hostages, abducting them to Gaza. No IDF soldiers were nearby. Families and children called relatives and even the media for rescue, but no one came. Perhaps the most horrific act was when Hamas forces targeted a forest party nearby. They surrounded the celebrants with jeeps and slaughtered nearly 300 of them. I won't continue with the horrifying descriptions I know of. All this lasted for hours with no IDF forces in the vicinity.

Hamas was meticulously prepared for this assault. Their objective was to kill as many Israeli civilians and soldiers as possible and to kidnap everyone, including women, children, and the elderly.


The first commando forces to arrive encountered a skilled enemy with a numerical advantage, having had the opportunity to prepare and train, resulting in many casualties. The battles were extremely fierce, with numerous acts of heroism. These lines are written before Hezbollah and Iran openly entered the fray.


And finally, never underestimate the power of a good cookie. Rachel Edri and her husband were taken hostage by 5 Hamas terrorists for 15 (!) in their home in the town of Ofakim, a few miles from the Gaza strip. In an astonishing moment of Human resilience and motherly instinct, Rachel saved her and her husband's life by offering the terrorist food. the entire story here.



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