Senior Shin Bet sources confirmed late Sunday that they had passed specific intelligence regarding today's attack to relevant officials inside the IDF. The information had included the precise location of the attack and the fact that a tunnel would be involved, but did not specify a time frame.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz, however, told reporters that the IDF had only received a general warning.
He said that the IDF had received a warning about a large-scale terror attack that was the background to a number of IDF operations over the last two weeks, including the targeted killing of Popular Resistance Committees leader Jamal Abu Samhadana and the recent incursion into the Gaza Strip.
The warning, Peretz added, was also the reason behind Wednesday's closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing.
Halutz admitted that the morning attack had caught the IDF unaware. "We don't know everything," Halutz said, adding that despite alerts, attacks occurred. "We are always living under alerts," he said. "We have to understand that fighting terror doesn't happen in an instant."
When asked if the army had known about the existence of the 100-meter-long tunnel which Palestinian gunmen had used to breach the border, Halutz responded that if the IDF had known about the tunnel, the military would have taken steps to destroy it.
The Shin Bet deputy said that a Sinai cell, planning to kidnap soldiers, had recently been cracked.