Revealed: Israel Detected Phone Activation in Gaza Hours Before Simchas Torah Attack

By Yoni Weiss

Smoke rises from Gaza as seen from the broken fence where Hamas terrorists entered Israel during the Oct. 7 attack, in Kfar Aza. (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

Israel identified suspicious activity a few hours before the surprise attack on Oct. 7 when hundreds of cellphones were activated in the Gaza Strip using Israeli SIM cards, it was revealed for publication Monday.

In the first weeks after the attack, it was revealed that Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and major-generals of the IDF General Staff held consultations during that night. The consultations, including phone discussions, occurred when signs of an invasion appeared, but decisions were made not to redeploy forces or raise alerts in the region. The Shin Bet also noticed something was happening, with its chief present at the organization’s headquarters that night.

Both the IDF and the Shin Bet clarified that they did not interpret the signs as indicative of a broad operation by Hamas. Instead, they believed it might be related to rocket fire or a very limited penetration of Israeli territory. The events of the night preceding the attacks are set to undergo a thorough investigation, with the findings promised to be presented transparently to the public, according to IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari. The Israeli security forces did not anticipate a large-scale Hamas operation at that particular time.

This was first reported by Channel 14 News this weekend. Initially, IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari issued an unequivocal denial in response to the report. “The claim that the Chief of Staff knew about a thousand SIMs that were turned on at midnight and did not inform anyone about it is a false accusation,” Hagari said.

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