The first clues came from the bodies of slain militants: maps, drawings, notes, and the weapons and gear they carried.
In Beeri, a kibbutz town overrun by Hamas on Oct. 7, one dead fighter had a notebook with hand-scrawled Quranic verses and orders that read, simply, “Kill as many people and take as many hostages as possible.” Others were equipped with gas canisters, handcuffs and thermobaric grenades designed to instantly turn houses into infernos.
Each was like a piece from a grisly puzzle, a snippet of fine detail from an operation that called for hundreds of discrete crimes in specific locations. Five weeks later, the reassembled fragments are beginning to reveal the contours of Hamas’s broader plan, one that analysts say was intended not just to kill and capture Israelis, but to spark a conflagration that would sweep the region and lead to a wider conflict.
The evidence, described by more than a dozen current and former intelligence and security officials from four Western and Middle Eastern countries, reveals an intention by Hamas planners to strike a blow of historic proportions, in the expectation that the group’s actions would compel an overwhelming Israeli response.
Breaking news: New evidence reveals that Hamas planners intended to strike a blow of historic proportions on Oct. 7 with the expectation that their actions would compel an overwhelming Israeli response. https://t.co/B3Ss0Q3LLq
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 12, 2023