"Israeli Intelligence Suddenly Knows Exactly Where Hamas Is"
Caitlin Johnstone
(October 13, 2023)

It’s interesting how last week Israel had no idea what Hamas was up to, and yet this week they know every mosque, school and hospital that Hamas is hiding in.

When you live under an empire of lies you’ll be asked to believe a lot of very stupid things. The dumbest thing we’re being asked to believe this week is that Israel’s intelligence services are simultaneously so incompetent that Saturday’s Hamas attack took them completely by surprise, but also so competent that all the buildings they’re destroying with their relentless bombing campaign on Gaza are directed solely at Hamas [emphasis added].

The phrase “Hamas targets” has been all over the news media the last few days in reference to the ongoing attacks on Gaza, which have as of this writing killed over 1,500 Palestinians, a third of them children. [emphasis added]

“Israel conducts large-scale strikes on Hamas targets,” reads a CNN headline.

“Israel conducts ‘large-scale strike’ on Hamas targets,” reads the title of a segment for ABC News.

“Israel says it dropped 6,000 bombs so far against Hamas targets,” reads a report by The Washington Post.

Gosh, Israel must have really great visibility into Gaza to know that each of those 6,000 bombs was aimed “Hamas targets” and not just civilian buildings.

Where was this 20/20 vision when Hamas was preparing for an attack using motorized paragliders, drones and motorboats in an enclosed strip of land the size of Philadelphia? How did Israeli intelligence fail to detect preparations for this attack even after Egyptian intelligence warned them that it was coming? How did they fail so spectacularly that even Hamas was reportedly surprised by the scale of their operation’s success? Is it really reasonable to believe they were blind as moles to Hamas activity last week but have the eye of the eagle this week?

President Biden made some noises on Wednesday about how important it is that Israel “operate by the rules of war”, which sounded like empty cover-your-ass narrative fluff even before we heard US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan dismiss any notion of “red lines” that Israel must not cross in Gaza.

Not even mainstream empire apologists are buying it. Politico’s Andrew Ward, in an article sponsored by Lockheed Martin in which he writes that “Israel’s ferocious counterattack is easy to understand” given the severity of the Hamas attack, writes that “The Biden administration wants Israel to abide by the laws of war as it responds to Hamas’ barbaric attack, but Jerusalem doesn’t appear to be listening.”

“A flood of reports challenges Israel’s claims that it’s exercising caution,” Ward writes. “Mosques, hospitals and schools have been hit with airstrikes, as have healthcare facilities and ambulances.”

“Gazans, many of whom don’t support Hamas or its tactics, have nowhere to flee as the strip is under siege,” ads Ward. “Shrapnel has flown into seven hospitals and 10 U.N. emergency shelters. The situation has gotten so bad that the Red Cross said hospitals, already low on electricity, water and supplies, risk turning into morgues.”

Of course Israel isn’t abiding by the rules of war. They’re not even pretending to. Human Rights Watch has just issued a statement decrying Israel’s “unlawfully indiscriminate” use of white phosphorus in Gaza and in Lebanon, and an Israeli security official told the Israeli press that the IDF’s plan is to turn Gaza into “a city of tents” with “no buildings”.

This is all publicly available information, yet the western press has the gall to use the phrase “Hamas targets” when describing Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza? I’m sorry, but that’s demented. The only reason to do something like that would be to administer propaganda.

The claim that Israel is targeting Hamas when it destroys buildings in Gaza is further undermined by the fact that Hamas would be taking shelter underground during this bombing campaign. As journalist Sharmine Narwani explained on Twitter, “Hamas cadres live underground in Gaza, which they have learned to do after countless Israeli bombing campaigns. The ONLY people being massacred in Gaza by Israeli terror planes right now are Palestinian civilians and Israeli POWs.

In reality, both the claims that Israeli intelligence was taken by surprise by the Hamas attack and that Israel is solely targeting Hamas with its Gaza strikes are highly suspect and worthy of intense scrutiny. Israel has never been averse to killing Palestinian civilians, and there’s no reason to feel confident Israeli intelligence didn’t let the attack through in order to justify longstanding agendas like the elimination of Gaza as a Palestinian territory. Both claims can be false, but from where I’m sitting it looks highly unlikely that they’re both true.

If you want to support Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza then go ahead, and if you want to uncritically accept the official narrative about Saturday’s attack then you do you. But don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.