A report by the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee has revealed that Egypt had warned Israel of potential violence three days before Hamas militants struck in deadly cross-border raid which has turned into a war with thousands killed.
Head of the Committee, head Michael McCaul, told reporters on Wednesday that US intelligence can confirm the warning which was not adhered to by Israel.
“We know that Egypt has warned the Israelis three days prior that an event like this could happen,” McCaul told reporters following a closed-door intelligence briefing for lawmakers about the Middle East crisis.
“I don’t want to get too much into classified, but a warning was given. I think the question was at what level,” he stated.
He noted that an Egyptian intelligence official had told the Associated Press news agency that Cairo had repeatedly warned the Israelis “something big” was being planned from Gaza.
“We have warned them an explosion of the situation is coming, and very soon, and it would be big. But they underestimated such warnings,” the official was quoted on the condition of anonymity.
The official further said Israeli officials played down the threat from Gaza, instead focusing on the West Bank.
However, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has described the reports as “absolutely false”.
Netanyahu described any suggestion that Israel had received a specific warning in advance of the deadly incursion as “totally fake news”.
Israeli intelligence services are also under scrutiny for their failure to prevent the deadliest attack by Palestinian militants in Israel’s 75-year history.
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