Hamas’ Strategic Deception: How They Manipulated Israel with Islamic Jihad Information

Hamas provided Israel with intelligence on fellow Gaza-based terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the months leading up to the former’s October 7 massacre in southern Israel, the Washington Post reported on Thursday morning. The terror group passed on information on the PIJ to Israel with the hopes of maintaining an Israeli belief that Hamas was interested in the Strip’s stability, rather than entering a conflict with Israel, the report noted. As per the official, Hamas had for years attempted to strengthen the Israeli misconception of the terror group’s true intentions through attempts to focus on civilian issues, such as working with Israel to raise the number of work permits given to Gazans. Before October 7, Israel had issued close to 20,000 active work permits for Palestinians in Gaza, who have been unable to work since Hamas launched its mass infiltration and attacks on Israelis. In addition, Hamas sought to “lull Israel into complacency” by holding large demonstrations at the Gaza border in the months leading up to the attack, “to get the IDF used to the sight of crowds at the border,” the Washington Post cited senior IDF intelligence officer Miri Eisin as saying. The report continued, noting that Hamas made an effort to refrain from entering into a direct conflict with the IDF since Operation Guardian of the Walls in 2021, fought primarily between Israel and the Islamic Jihad, in preparation for its long-planned October 7 attack. At the time, Hamas was criticized by Palestinian factions for failing to join Islamic Jihad in firing rockets at Israel. Over the past few years, reports in several Palestinian and Arab media outlets have referred to rising tension between the two terror groups. Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.