(AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Hamas Terrorists

Israeli intelligence was left puzzled by the mass activation since SIM card activations had not been flagged in the past as indications of an impending attack.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

As many as one thousand Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip activated Israeli SIM cards for their cellular phones just hours before the October 7th invasion, in a move that left Israeli intelligence officials puzzled, according to reports in Israeli media Monday.

Hundreds of Israeli SIM cards, used to provide cellular service via Israeli providers, were activated at around midnight between October 6th and 7th, multiple Israeli news outlets reported, just hours before the invasion of Israel that caught the IDF off guard and left some 1,200 Israelis dead and 253 in captivity.

According to Yedioth Aharonoth, the sudden mass activation of Israeli SIM cards by Gaza terrorists has been known for months, but was suppressed by Israeli military censors until Monday.

The reports claim that IDF and Shin Bet intel officials detected approximately 1,000 Israeli SIM cards being activated at around midnight on October 7th, but were left puzzled by the mass activation, and because SIM card activations had not been flagged in the past as indications of an impending attack, did not war IDF Central Command of a possible invasion.

While some outlets, including Channel 14, said that roughly 1,000 SIM card activations were detected, the Israeli military and the Shin Bet internal security agency released a joint statement Monday downplaying the claims, calling them “false and far from reality,” saying that “only” several dozen SIM card activations had been detected.

“Several indicative signs accumulated, which included, among other things, the activation of only dozens of SIMs, which were activated in previous events in the past.”

“As previously published, on the night of October 7th, indicative signs were received for which situation assessments were conducted and operative decisions were made accordingly.”

“The indicative signs are based on a variety of tools and capabilities, including technological tools whose method of operation cannot be detailed.”

While it is now believed that Hamas terrorists used the Israeli SIM cards to communicate with each other inside Israel after infiltrating over the border on October 7th, at the time, Israeli intel officials did not see the activations as an indication of an immediate danger and continued their consultations through the early morning.

With additional signs of a possible attack, the IDF Chief of Staff’s office was updated at 1:30 a.m., five hours before the invasion, with the Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi himself being alerted at 3:30 a.m.

However, despite indications of a possible looming attack, top security brass remained unconvinced the signals were a sign of an imminent mass attack, given the widespread belief among the intelligence community that Hamas was not pursuing a large-scale conflict with Israel.