The Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) says its Golani Brigade destroyed a Hamas force in Gaza in less than 10 minutes thanks to ultra-rapid field intelligence.
While claims in the battlespace in Gaza are difficult to independently confirm, the IDF has released information citing the effectiveness of its field intelligence units and surveillance technology in identifying Hamas terrorist formations in Gaza, alerting IDF units and producing strikes to destroy the formations in starkly short spans of time.
On Monday, the IDF offered an example of its use of coordinated intel and fires in Gaza in which soldiers of the Golani Brigade “eliminated seven terrorists within ten minutes”.
The operation was facilitated by the Center for Defense and Operational Maneuvers, an organization within the Israeli Intelligence Directorate described as producing, researching and making tactical intelligence accessible to the operational front, leading to rapid coordination combining accurate intelligence and effective firepower.
The Center joins actionable intelligence and front-line units together via a “back office” within each deployed division and operating brigade. The back office is called ADAN (Deployable-level intel). According to the IDF, signal monitors, network intelligence officers, analysts, and researchers sit together within one office (possibly inside the brigade’s command and control center).
In the example provided, an ADAN within the 1st Golani Brigade, one of five infantry brigades within the Army, intercepted a voice call “received by signal monitors”. This may be an allusion to the use of Israel’s Pegasus spyware.
Remotely installed on cellphones (reportedly on phones of international politicians, heads-of-state, officials and potentially, Hamas-carried phones) the spyware is thought to be capable of reading text messages, call snooping, collecting passwords, and location tracking.
Whether via Pegasus or other electronic intelligence (ELINT) tools, the information was used by analysts within the ADAN to identify the location and deployment of the Hamas unit, apparently within 120 seconds. The threat was determined to be a “few dozen meters away” from an advance unit of the Golani Reconnaissance Battalion.
Four minutes after picking up the information, the Hamas formation location information was sent to Golani troops on the ground. Six minutes later, an IDF tank fired rounds at the site where the terrorists were detected.
According to the IDF, in the span of several minutes following the coordinated fire, its ground units identified secondary explosions and two terrorists hit. Subsequently, three Hamas combatants trying to escape were eliminated before Golani troops entered a building and took out two more.
The IDF went so far as to release its own timeline of the action laying out the sequence of events to support its claims. It also offered another example of an ADAN-driven success in killing a Hamas tactical commander by the name of Ahmed Siam who the IDF identified as leader of the Naser Radwan Company.
The action took place last Friday morning (November 10th) at or around Rantisi Hospital in the Gaza Strip where an Israeli Air Force strike eliminated Siam. In its release, the IDF cited an intelligence officer with its 401st Armored Brigade who testified to the efficacy of the unit’s ADAN office and offered some insight on its operation.
“The relationship with the ADAN works effectively since it is an organic part of the brigade, which also routinely trains with the brigade and participates in its combat procedures,” he said. “In this war, we took this multidisciplinary organization and raised it to a new level – all the intelligence personnel in the field are connected by earpiece to the ADAN personnel, thus succeeding in maintaining close coordination against terrorists.”
This testimony points to the obvious use of human intelligence and reconnaissance within the Gaza battlespace as well. Allying it with the latest in communications and command-control coordination in use by the IDF may make such real-time tactical intel effective in precedent setting ways within the Israel-Hamas War.
The examples are dramatic but it is likely too early to draw far-reaching lessons from the combination of such technology, processes and firepower because of the specific circumstances of the fight in Gaza. But they do point to a new frontier for the use of field intelligence and its chillingly quick application.