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Egypt warned Israel ‘days’ before Hamas attack: Rep. Michael McCaul


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Egyptian intelligence officials warned their Israeli counterparts of a a possible terror attack days before Hamas slaughtered at least 1,300 people, according to the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee — who said Wednesday he doesn’t know how Israel and the US missed the signs.

“We know the Egyptian intelligence service handed this off days before the terrorist invasion, if you will, or attack,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told CNN following a closed-door intelligence briefing. “So, there’s a lot of questions about that.”

McCaul’s comment came two days after an Egyptian intelligence official told the Associated Press that the Israelis “underestimated” warnings from Cairo that “an explosion of the situation is coming, and very soon, and it would be big.”

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the report as “totally fake news.”

“The report to the effect that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received a message in advance from Egypt is absolutely false,” it said in a statement posted on social media.

“No message in advance has arrived from Egypt and the Prime Minister has neither spoken, nor met, with the head of Egyptian intelligence since the formation of the government, neither directly nor indirectly.”

McCaul said Wednesday that it was unclear at what level the Egyptian intelligence was shared.

“I’m sure there are a lot of threat streams coming in to Israeli intelligence, particularly out of Gaza and the West Bank,” he told CNN host Wolf Blitzer. “But, you know, the thing is, Wolf, they — we know Hamas have been planning this attack for quite some time, perhaps even up to a year ago. And the idea that it was not caught raises some concerns, also when it comes to groups like Hezbollah and Iran as well. We need to make sure we don’t make that mistake.

“For Israel, this is like their 9/11,” McCaul added. “I mean, it really is. It’s very reminiscent of what we went through in the United States when we did have a failure of intelligence.”

Hamas took Israel – and the rest of the world – by surprise when it unleashed a barrage of rockets and sent scores of armed terrorists into communities early Saturday.

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

Hamas took Israel – and the rest of the world – by surprise when it unleashed a barrage of rockets and sent scores of armed terrorists into communities early Saturday.

An exiled leader of the terror group has since said the assault was planned for two years — but was shocked at being able to kill more than 1,300 people, mostly civilians.

A diplomatic source also said that they had wanted to “embarrass” Israel “and return to Gaza with two or three kidnapped Israelis” — not the 150 they are believed to have snatched.

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

A New York Times report Tuesday outlined a number of failures by Israeli security and intelligence officials, including an uptick in terrorist chatter hours before Saturday’s slaughter, triggering a warning that was either not received or not acted upon.

The report also indicated that Israeli officials took at face value indications that Hamas leadership was unable or unwilling to pursue large-scale operations against the Jewish state, to the point that discussion of the threat posed by Hezbollah militants based in Lebanon dominated an intelligence briefing days before the attack.

Hamas, on the other hand, was “barely mentioned,” with one intelligence official reportedly saying the terror group had been “deterred,” according to the Times.

2005: Israel unilaterally withdraws from the Gaza Strip over three decades after winning the territory from Egypt in the Six-Day War.

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