As questions remain about how Israel failed to thwart Hamas's assault, IDF lookouts told N12 on Monday that they had repeatedly warned their commanders of unusual incidents along the border, but were ignored.
"A day before everything happened, I saw people with maps," said one lookout to N12. "They were looking at the fence and pointing at it. I told everyone: 'Listen, something is going to happen. I see them planning things.' I noticed that something was different on the front. I even told the person next to me in jest: 'Listen, they're going to storm our post.' It just looked different."
The lookout added that despite her warnings, her commanders "discounted" her concerns, telling her "Hamas is just a bunch of punks, they won't do anything."
"I wasn't seeing things, it wasn't something usual. We saw a ton of exercises. We would always look at them as if it was Channel 12. It was fun. It was interesting that they were doing exercises."
"We would look at this and we would say 'f&%*, come on, one day is this is going to be on us, this s&*%, that we're so indifferent about this?'"
"I remember their exercise by heart: they would shoot, lay on the ground, and throw a grenade. In the end that's what happened to me. They shot at me, threw grenades at me."
The lookout added that the farming activity in the area in the month before the attack "looked weird."
"I filmed this, there is proof of this," said the lookout to N12. "When I came to them and told them everything that was happening, they told me 'No, it's nothing, it's farmers, they're making a field there.' I told them, 'No it's not a field. Look there's a bunch of civilians, this looks off.'"
In the weeks leading up to Hamas's assault on southern Israel, Palestinians conducted riots along the border on an almost daily basis, throwing explosives, burning tires, and causing damage to the border fence. A number of exercises were also conducted in the Gaza Strip to mark various anniversaries, including the anniversary of Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip.
Lookouts were first to notice the Hamas invasion
The lookouts of the Gaza Division were the first to detect the infiltration by Hamas terrorists into Israel and were quick to call up forces and to fire from a distance using a shooting system, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said on Sunday.
"The observers acted and still act sharply, professionally, and vigilantly to seek contact and lead to the elimination of the terrorists, even when they were under attack themselves," said the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.