Israel was over-reliant on the sophisticated wall it built along the Gaza border, which has multiple types of sensors and remotely operated machine guns. Officials believed it to be virtually impenetrable and kept a relatively small military force nearby, prioritizing other areas for deployment, the report said.
Hamas took out at least four communication towers using drone-dropped munitions in the early phase of its attack, rendering the system “useless,” NYT said. The Israelis could not see the consequent breach of the physical barrier, which turned out to be an easier task than they expected it would be. Hamas used explosives and bulldozers to create nearly 30 gaps for some 1,500 fighters to pour through.
An operational lapse by Israel resulted in the clustering of its senior commanders in the area at a single base, which was overrun in a lightning offensive by the militants. With the leadership mostly killed or taken hostage, Israeli response to the emergency was disorganized and slow, sources said.