Egypt intelligence officials warned Israel three days before Hamas massacre according to revealations by US congressman.
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.
McCaul’s statements come after a series of reports that Egyptian intelligence officials had sent warnings to Israel ahead of Hamas’s assault over the weekend.
On Monday, the Associated Press reported that an Egyptian intelligence official had said that Egypt had warned Israel repeatedly about “something big,” but that this warning was downplayed as Israeli officials were focusing on the West Bank.
“We have warned them an explosion of the situation is coming, and very soon, and it would be big. But they underestimated such warnings,” said the official to the AP.
On Tuesday, Al-Monitor reported as well that senior Egyptian officials had warned Israel of an impending attack from Gaza, but that these warnings were not specific and not brought to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attention.
The Financial Times on Wednesday cited two unnamed officials as stating that Egyptian intelligence repeatedly warned Israel that the situation in the Gaza Strip could “explode.”
The officials added that there was no hard intelligence about a specific attack and this was only a “general warning.”
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.”