Dec 3, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Kirby: US intelligence had no knowledge of Hamas' attack plan documents

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Sunday that the U.S. intelligence community indicated it did not have access to a document detailing Hamas' plan to attack Israel.

Why it matters: Kirby's statement comes shortly after a New York Times report said Israeli officials had obtained Hamas' "battle plan" for the Oct. 7 attack on Israel over a year before it occurred.

Catch up quick: The New York Times reported last week that Israeli officials had known about Hamas' plan to attack Israel "more than a year before it happened," via documents, emails and interviews.

  • Known as the "Jericho Wall," the roughly 40-page document, according to the Times, had outlined, "point by point," Hamas' deadly incursion on Israel.
  • The Times said that Israeli military officials had dismissed the report as "aspirational" and outside of Hamas' capabilities.

What he's saying: "The intelligence community has ... indicated that they did not have access to this document," Kirby said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday.

  • "Intelligence is a mosaic and sometimes, you can fashion things together and get a pretty good picture. Other times ... there's pieces of the puzzle that are missing," Kirby said.
  • "As I said, our own intelligence community said that they've looked at this. They have no indications at this time that they had any advanced warning of this document or any knowledge of it," he added.

Asked about whether the attack marked a failure on the part of U.S. intelligence and Israeli intelligence, Kirby declined to answer but said he thinks there will be a "time and a place for Israel to do that sort of forensic work."

  • "I mean, Prime Minister Netanyahu's already spoken pretty candidly about this and calling it a failure on their part. They'll take a look at this at the right time. They need to do that," Kirby said.
  • Kirby said the current focus should be on "making sure that they can eliminate this truly genocidal threat to the Israeli people."

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