The Washington Post reported that Hamas planned a massacre and taking hundreds of hostages on October 7. The evidence suggests they planned to continue their assault up to the border with the West Bank. They infiltrated Israel and wreaked havoc on at least 22 Israeli towns and military outposts near the Gaza border. They also abducted hundreds of people to bring back to Gaza as hostages. The farthest they were able to infiltrate was the city of Ofakim in the Western Negev. According to The Washington Post, the evidence suggests they were planning on hitting major cities and military bases, and could have ended up making it to the West Bank. This comes as Israel’s attention shifted away from Gaza and Hamas towards the West Bank, which had been seeing a dramatic upsurge in violence and terrorism. They discreetly and methodically plotted their plan over time, training terrorists and gathering intelligence in the utmost secrecy. The report further said that this would have come at a high cost, with Hamas knowing the level of Israel’s response. Just a day after Hamas’s massacre, the US sent a carrier strike group and other military officers to help Israel plan its ground offensive into the Gaza Strip.