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Why Did the IDF Fail on October 7?

Episode 6 of Israel Update: Mike and Gadi discuss how Hamas overwhelmed Israeli defenses

Gadi Taub
Michael Doran
January 16, 2024
Israel Update
Israel Update is a video podcast hosted by Israeli historian and political commentator Gadi Taub and Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. The show offers news from the ground as well as an unparalleled insider perspective on the war.
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A newly published investigative piece in Israel’s daily Yedioth Ahronoth recounts the blow-by-blow failure of Israel’s army on that fateful morning. How could a low-tech, relatively small terror organization outsmart a high-tech giant with a modern state behind it?

Mike and Gadi discuss the main findings: how Hamas overwhelmed the IDF’s monitoring systems and cut off its chain of command; how IDF HQ and air force were forced to fall back on cellphones and Telegram channels for a picture of the battlefields; why the Israeli air force was so slow to respond; and, above all, how an intelligence service, capable of pinpointing a specific individual and taking him out in a surgical attack in Beirut, failed to detect a ragtag army of 2,000 terrorists practicing for an invasion right under Israel’s nose.

Evidently, Hamas understood exactly how the IDF operates, while the IDF made erroneous speculations about Hamas’ intentions at the expense of studying its M.O. and its capabilities. 

Gadi Taub is an author, historian, and op-ed columnist. He is co-host of Tablet’s Israel Update podcast.

Michael Doran is Director of the Center for Peace and Security in the Middle East and a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.