Israel not properly prepared for Hamas attack: Israeli ambassador to France

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Israel’s ambassador to France admitted on Saturday that his country was not “sufficiently prepared” for the attack launched by Hamas, pointing to a failure of the intelligence services.

Palestinian group Hamas launched a massive surprise attack against Israel on Saturday, firing thousands of rockets from Gaza and sending fighters to kill or abduct people, leaving at least 70 people dead.

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“Following this surprise, we were not sufficiently prepared for it, we could even say barely prepared,” ambassador Raphael Morav said in an interview with France’s Europe 1 radio.

Asked about a possible failure of the Israeli intelligence services, the Israeli diplomat replied “certainly, certainly, yes... because normally we should have been prepared.”

“Lessons will have to be learned,” he added.

The early-morning Hamas offensive from the Gaza Strip -- by air, land and sea -- was met by Israeli air strikes on the blockaded coastal enclave, in the bloodiest escalation with the Palestinians since May 2021.

Gaza authorities released a death toll of 198 in the conflict’s bloodiest escalation in years which also left hundreds more wounded on both sides.

Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007, leading to Israel’s crippling blockade of the impoverished enclave of 2.3 million people.

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