Where Was the Israeli Military When Hamas Attacked?

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Far beneath the Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv, in a bunker known as The Pit, commanders were trying to make sense of reports of Hamas rocket fire in southern Israel early on the morning of Oct. 7, when the call came in.

It was a commander from the division that oversees military operations along the border with Gaza. Their base was under attack. The commander could not describe the scope of the attack or provide more details, according to a military official with knowledge of the call. But he asked that all available reinforcements be sent.

At 7:43 a.m., more than an hour after the rocket assault began and thousands of Hamas fighters stormed into Israel, The Pit issued its first deployment instructions of the day. It ordered all emergency forces to head south, along with all available units that could do so quickly.

But the nation’s military leaders did not yet recognize that an invasion of Israel was already well underway.

Hours later, desperate Israeli citizens were still fending for themselves and calling for help. Roughly 1,200 people died as the Middle East’s most advanced military failed in its essential mission: protecting Israeli lives.

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Where Was the Israeli Military When Hamas Attacked?

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