Israeli military surveillance video from the Gaza border from 7 October, the day of Hamas' surprise attack, has disappeared, Israeli news site Walla reported on 3 December.
During a visit by a senior female officer from the Israeli army general staff to the various division headquarters, senior officers in the reserves commented that "an invisible hand" had deleted videos from the various military surveillance cameras showing the events of that day, the Hebrew language outlet stated.
The videos were deleted from the military network known as "ZeeTube," potentially to prevent their use in an in-depth investigation of how thousands of Hamas fighters managed to breach the border fence and infiltrate Israel to carry out the attack.
A senior reserve officer from one of the divisions said:
"We sat down with one of the generals and were going to show him a video about one of the events, and we found out that someone had deleted the videos. It was very embarrassing. Then suspicion arose as to why someone would do that. And at the end the excuses started that it was decided to give special privileges to certain officers to view the footage. Do officers in our ranks need privileges? It looks like a war between generals and officials. There is a feeling that everyone is now trying to take care of themselves for the day after - when an investigation into events of that day takes place."Israeli officials, including top generals and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have acknowledged the Hamas attack, in which 1,200 Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed, resulted from an intelligence failure. However, they insist the events of that day cannot be investigated until after the war in Gaza, in which some 20,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli bombing, ends.
Officials in the Gaza Division said that there was also a "disruption" in recordings of audio communications from 7 October. According to them:
"Some of the recordings have disappeared or were simply downloaded from the network and transferred to another location at the direction of commanders. We are unable to hear them ... Someone decided to transfer or delete them so that no one will hear them. The recordings tell the whole story of what happened, what we did, especially in the first 8 hours and in the moments when there was really no one to talk to."In response to the claims, an Israeli military spokesperson told Walla that no videos were deleted from the operational systems after the events of 7 October. The videos have been blocked to unauthorized individuals to prevent viewing out of curiosity and voyeurism. The videos are all kept for the benefit of the in-depth investigation that will be carried out on the subject by relevant parties, the spokesperson said.
A military official stated:
"In the system in question, videos are automatically deleted after a few days. If necessary, the videos are saved in a separate folder. In this case, all the videos were saved."