How Israel uses up-to-the-minute battlefield intelligence in targeting Hamas

| Updated: 08 December, 2023 8:27 pm IST
This picture shows a tunnel that Israel says was dug by the Hamas leading from the Palestinian enclave into southern Israel.

NEW DELHI: Since the October 7 terrorist attacks, Israel has amassed a wealth of intelligence crucial in evaluating Hamas’s strategies, battle tactics, and capabilities, significantly influencing the ongoing conflict in Gaza, according to Israeli officials.

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Recovered from attack sites in Israel and battlegrounds in Gaza, military findings have detailed the precise locations of Hamas installations and tunnels, shedding light on the armed group’s underground operations. Notably, a retrieved laptop indicated Hamas’s intent to seize previously undisclosed areas, including a military base south of Tel Aviv.

The New York Times reviewed the information provided by the Israeli officials. Brig. Gen. Hisham Ibrahim, commander of the armoured corps, emphasised the unprecedented use of real-time, precise intelligence in ground warfare, directly benefiting combat forces. “Information from intelligence units is swiftly transmitted to combat forces,” Gen. Ibrahim stated.

 

Following the Hamas-led assaults resulting in around 1,200 casualties and nearly 240 hostages, the Israeli military retaliated forcefully. Their objective, to eliminate Hamas, led to extensive bombardment and invasion of the enclave, resulting in over 15,000 casualties, as reported by Gaza health authorities.

As per a New York Times report, during a recent briefing held at a military base near Tel Aviv for journalists, Israeli authorities presented materials gathered during the conflict. These findings, including maps, transmitters, phones, video cameras, and computers recovered from deceased fighters and areas in Gaza, are currently under analysis by a newly established Israeli unit. This unit is tasked with promptly disseminating insights to soldiers actively engaged in combat against Hamas.

 

 

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Access to key intelligence documents was granted to journalists under the agreement not to disclose intricate details. The materials, handled with caution using surgical gloves due to bloodstains, were consistent with previously released information by the Israeli military and found in Hamas-related videos.

Revealing extensive data on Hamas tactics and military formations, documents included details on platoons, suggesting seasoned fighters predominantly aged over 25. The Israeli military also obtained photographs and videos of Hamas leaders for potential targeting purposes.

 

Furthermore, journals carried by Hamas assailants and personal items were retrieved by the Israeli military. Brig. Gen. Ibrahim mentioned making subtle adjustments to the fighting strategy, relying on this intelligence during the conflict.

The commander oversees tank warfare from a makeshift camp in southern Israel, focusing intensely on safeguarding soldiers and outmaneuvering Hamas. Teams on the ground in Gaza continuously gather insights, compiling “learning bulletins” disseminated among forces every few days, aiming for a strategic edge.

 

The conflict has reignited following a recent ceasefire’s end, with Israeli soldiers engaged in fierce battles in southern and northern Gaza. Israeli tanks have played a pivotal role, although more than a dozen soldiers have been reported killed since the resumption of fighting.

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