Critical IDF intel systems were down on morning of Oct. 7
Col. Y., deputy commander of the IDF’s Unit 8200. Photo by Oren Cohen.

The Unit 8200 is responsible for some 80% of the information gathered and produced for all intelligence branches.

JNS Staff Report
June 26, 2024

Critical computer systems used by the Israel Defense Forces’ elite 8200 intelligence unit broke down on Oct. 6 and were only repaired some 90 minutes before Hamas launched its cross-border massacre, Israel’s Channel 12 News reported on Saturday.

The report, which revealed limited information on the alleged computer failure due to military censorship rules, claimed the systems only came fully back online after the attack was already underway.

A former intelligence official told the broadcaster that “if the system had been working at those hours, it is very likely that dramatic information would have arrived that would have changed the intelligence picture.”

Unit 8200, the IDF’s signal intelligence unit, considered the “eyes of Israel,” is part of the Military Intelligence Directorate, known in Hebrew by the acronym AMAN. The unit is responsible for some 80% of the information gathered and produced for all intelligence branches.

Channel 12 cited an internal report that claimed the information about the computer error was conveyed to the commander of Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, as well as Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) director Ronen Bar.

Two months ago, Haliva announced his resignation from the military, to be effective after the completion of operational investigations into Oct. 7 and an overlap process with a replacement. He added that under his command, the Intelligence Directorate “did not live up to the task it was entrusted with.”

Halevi has signaled he will step down after the war against Hamas ends.

Meanwhile, the commander of Unit 8200, Brig. Gen. “Y.,” has refused to take any blame for the Oct. 7 failure, saying last year his team provided all the necessary intelligence. In May, the unit promoted two of its officers, drawing criticism from within the army.

Last week, a three-member audit team from the army’s General Staff infiltrated the Unit 8200 intelligence base at the Glilot military camp in Ramat Hasharon. The three posed as officers and entered directly through the guard house without being challenged.

“For nearly three hours, they roamed the base unhindered, reached operational compounds, collected hundreds of classified documents and data material from secret computers,” according to a Ynet report.

If the three had been enemies, they could have caused severe damage to the base’s infrastructure, soldiers and staff in what would have constituted a huge blow to the IDF and Israel, the news site noted.

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