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Egypt intelligence official says Israel ignored warnings of ‘something big’


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Amid mounting questions about Israel’s failure to anticipate the unprecedented attack by Hamas, an Egyptian intelligence official said his country had warned the Jewish state repeatedly about “something big” happening shortly.

The official said Israeli officials had been focused on their struggles in the West Bank and played down the threat from the militant group in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is made up of supporters of West Bank settlers who have demanded a crackdown in the face of a rising tide of violence in the area over the last 18 months.

“We have warned them an explosion of the situation is coming, and very soon, and it would be big. But they underestimated such warnings,” the Egyptian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press.

Israel was caught flat-footed in the lead-up to the attack by Hamas, whose terrorists broke through border barriers to launch a brazen attack that has so far killed at least 800 people and wounded over 2,000, with the numbers expected to climb.

“This is a major failure,” said Yaakov Amidror, a former national security adviser to  Netanyahu. “This operation actually proves that the (intelligence) abilities in Gaza were no good.”

He declined to offer an explanation for the failure, saying lessons must be learned when the military operation achieves its immediate goals.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the IDF’s chief military spokesman, acknowledged that the army owes the public an explanation, but said now is not the time.

“First, we fight, then we investigate,” he said.

Follow along with The Post’s live blog for the latest on Hamas’ attack on Israel

Meanwhile, Army Radio commentators on Sunday mentioned that the IDF’s chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi, has still not addressed the public directly about the crisis and left his spokespersons to field tough questions.

Follow along with The Post’s live blog for the latest on Hamas’ attack on Israel

Several family members of Israeli civilians who remain missing after being abducted also called the station and complained that no one from the government has reached out to them yet.

With Post wires


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