US and Israeli officials respond to explosive report revealing Israel’s advance knowledge of Hamas attack plans

Following the release of blockbuster new intelligence suggesting that Israel was aware Hamas was planning a major terror attack over a year in advance, American officials are carefully evaluating the information. Meanwhile, Israel has expressed plans to conduct an investigation into the matter after the fighting with Hamas comes to an end.

Speaking to ABC’s “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos, Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer assured that all inquiries into the matter will take place once the war is done. Dermer also admitted that he was unaware of the intelligence regarding Hamas’ plans until the report was published in The New York Times.

Based on the 40-page document obtained by Israel, The Times detailed several advanced predictions related to steps taken by Hamas during the October 7 terror attack which prompted the current conflict.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, during his appearance on a separate segment of “This Week”, acknowledged questions on whether the U.S. had any forewarning of the attack. Kirby stated that the U.S. intelligence community is examining the situation and has found no indication of prior knowledge regarding the planning document.

Kirby also noted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recognized intelligence failures and that thorough forensics are required. Kirby urged that the primary focus must be on ensuring Israel has the necessary support to pursue Hamas leadership.

After the collapse of a temporary cease-fire as part of broader efforts to negotiate a hostage-prisoner exchange with Hamas, Israel has resumed its retaliatory military operations in Gaza. Kirby confirmed that the U.S. was actively working to negotiate another pause in the fighting to facilitate the release of more hostages.

It was reported that Hamas refused to provide additional lists of women and children being held captive, causing the breakdown of the cease-fire. Kirby cited around 140 detainees, including eight Americans, with limited information about their whereabouts.

While humanitarian groups are warning of dire consequences for Gaza civilians, Kirby insisted that basic supplies are still reaching Gaza but at a significantly reduced rate compared to during the cease-fire.

Dermer expressed his gratitude towards the Biden administration for their efforts in negotiating a hostage deal and reiterated Israel’s continued goal to dismantle Hamas’ military capabilities and end its political rule in Gaza.

Even though the civilian death toll continues to rise, U.S. officials have stressed ongoing efforts to protect civilians in Gaza. Israel’s focus remains on ousting Hamas out of Gaza and forcing them into a new cease-fire by applying military pressure.

Meanwhile, Kirby assured that the U.S. government is pressing Israel to minimize civilian casualties during their military operations in Gaza.

Addressing the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Kirby emphasized that President Joe Biden remains supportive of a two-state solution. He stated that the Palestinian Authority needs revitalization, devoid of a Hamas role in the process.

Dermer confirmed Israel’s support for Palestinian autonomy and urged for the destruction of Hamas to pave way for peace negotiations.

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