Preparations for the Hamas invasion of Israel began in early 2021 shortly after Joe Biden became president. Reports suggest that Israel failed to pick up on the preparations for the attacks that required months of training because Hamas chose to use analog methods for planning. Such methods failed to be detected by the Israeli surveillance state.
Hamas is believed by Israel to have an army of about 30,000 men. Its terrorists overran Israeli military bases along the Israeli side of the border and slaughtered over 1,200 Israelis a week ago.
CNN: Hamas Trained In Plain Sight
A Hamas propaganda video from December 2022 shows its terrorists practicing storming a mock town.
Another video showed them using paragliders of the sort used in the attack. Hamas built a training facility in the southern part of Gaza near the Egyptian border in which it practiced the tactics that were used to brutal efficiency. The videos show that Hamas no longer is a ragtag militia riding on the back of pickup trucks through the streets of Gaza.
CNN noted that Hamas fighters trained in at least six sites based on the metadata embedded in its propaganda videos posted online.
“Two of those sites, including the arid training site shown in the December video, were a little more than a mile from the most fortified and patrolled section of the Gaza-Israel border. Of the remaining sites: one is located in central Gaza, and the other three in far south Gaza,” CNN found. “Two years of satellite imagery, also reviewed by CNN, show no indication of an offensive Israeli military action against any of the six identified sites.”
The buildings on the sites were comprised of cinderblock structures that often lacked a roof.
“However, five of the sites – the sixth is a landing strip – do not have civilian features and are nearly identical in how they are constructed and arranged,” CNN said. “They are all surrounded by massive earthen berms, which are taller than the buildings in the camps. The buildings – most have no roofs – are nearly all made from cinderblocks and cement. Some camps have gates and fences, while others have street curbs but no paved roads.”
Iran, Turkey Train Hamas
Hamas has evolved with Iranian and Turkish training and equipment into an army. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) noted in 2008 that it faced unorganized resistance from Hamas when it launched its first operation into Gaza following its 2005 pullout.
Iran’s Quds Force trained Hamas fighters in Lebanese training camps with elite members of the Iranian unit, and the recent operation was overseen by Quds Force officer Saeed Azidi. He is responsible for overseeing Iran’s military relationship with Hamas. Azidi also met with Hamas leaders in Lebanon, according to the Arab newspaper Yemen Now.
Investigations by Turkish and other media sources found that SADAT International Defense Consultancy, an Islamist-oriented private military company, founded by Turkish Brig. Gen. Adnan Tanriverdi trained Hamas fighters. Turkish journalist Abdullah Bozkurt notes that SADAT also has close ties with Turkey’s intelligence agency, the MIT.
The company provides training in special forces tactics, urban warfare, underwater training, and parachute training among others. Israel’s national security service Shin Bet disclosed in 2018 that SADAT had provided military assistance to Hamas.
Many of the capabilities demonstrated during Hamas’s slaughter of innocent Israelis are taught be SADAT.
One thing is clear. Hamas is part of a larger enterprise against Israel. Its improved training and capabilities have been provided by outside forces. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will have its work cut out for it once it is engaged with Hamas. It has evolved from a ragtag terrorist group into an army capable of combined arms tactics like any other conventional army.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.