The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul, has publicly asserted that from several different sources it is now clear that Egypt warned Israel in advance that “something big” was about to happen in Gaza, and that that warning was ignored by Israel.
More on this can be found here: “Egypt warned Israel three days before Hamas massacre – US congressman,” Jerusalem Post, October 11, 2023:
US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul told reporters on Wednesday that Egypt had warned Israel three days before Hamas’s assault on southern Israel that “an event like this could happen,” according to US media.
“There seems to have been a failure of intelligence. We’re not quite sure how we missed it. We’re not quite sure how Israel missed it,” said McCaul after a classified briefing about the war.
“We know that Egypt had warned the Israelis three days prior that an event like this could happen. We know this event was planned perhaps as long as a year ago,” added the House Foreign Affair chair….
The Prime Minister’s Office has denied the reports, calling them “absolutely false” and stressing that “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.”
It is entirely possible that such a warning never made it to the Prime Minister. Once the current war against Hamas is over, the government should investigate how high that warning did manage to go, and why it did not proceed all the way up the chain of command in time.
Egypt will certainly have to deny that it gave such a warning, lest the Palestinians use the fact of Egypt’s attempt to share intelligence with Israel as a weapon against El-Sisi’s government, with which Hamas has long been at odds, by portraying Cairo as a “traitor” to the Palestinian cause.
But Michael McCaul knows there are too many different sources for this story about an Egyptian warning for it not to be true. El-Sisi’s government, after all, has a vested information in helping Israel to foil any Hamas attack. Hamas is the local, Gazan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. And the Muslim Brotherhood is the sworn enemy of the El-Sisi regime. which came to power after toppling, in a coup, the former President and MB stalwart, Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
In defense of the Israeli government, it could be argued that the warning was too vague to be of much value. But is that true? If you — Prime Minister Netanyahu, or IDF Chief Herzi Halevi, or Mossad director David Barnea, or those just below them — are told with a sense of great urgency, by the Egyptians, with whom you have been sharing (giving and receiving) intelligence for years, that “something big” is just about to happen in Gaza, wouldn’t that at least cause a movement of troops and armored vehicles, and even tanks, from the center of the country to the border of Gaza?
Of course, for the Israeli government to admit that it had received such warnings, but that they had never reached the highest echelon, will simply not do as an excuse. Twelve hundred dead Israelis are on everyone’s mind. The popular fury over the government’s failure to understand the significance of the Egyptian warning and to heed it, at the very least by moving a few thousand IDF troops to the border, might in the future be so great as to bring down the Netanyahu government. But that won’t be until after the current campaign in Gaza is over, and when, with the country needing to figure out what went wrong, an independent inquiry is launched into the causes of this most colossal failure to detect, and derail early on, the murderous onslaught by Hamas.