An article in the Washington Post mentions that:

On Tuesday, an Israeli official told the country’s Channel 13 that Gaza would be reduced to “a city of tents.”

I'm trying to understand how serious & authoritative this declaration is, so who is this official?

  • 1
    It is likely we won't know as it was reported as an official to keep the name hidden.
    – Joe W
    Oct 11, 2023 at 12:53
  • @JoeW: since Channel 13 sounds like a TV station, I assumed they said it on air, but I could be wrong. Usually when the official is not mentioned sources add "unnamed" or "who requested anonymity". Oct 11, 2023 at 13:07
  • I would guess the station just reported it on air and said it was an official similar to how they would report an anonymous official.
    – Joe W
    Oct 11, 2023 at 13:08
  • 1
    This Tweet seems to name the interviewer, but not the official . twitter.com/bokeralmog/status/1711788685169926651
    – Brian Z
    Oct 11, 2023 at 13:15

3 Answers 3


I think this is the source article:

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In response to the launches into Israel, the IDF attacked Syria and the Gaza Strip. Throughout the day, heavy barrages were fired at the south, Gush Dan, northern Sharon and Jerusalem. 900 were murdered and 2,800 wounded since the beginning of the war. A security source told Channel 13 News: "The ground maneuver will surprise Hamas, Gaza will become a tent city." The US President in a historic statement: "Assistance to Israel, including the Iron Dome interceptors, is on the way. We'll make sure the inventory doesn't run out."

It seems to indicate a singular, anonymous source.

And even less specific than 'IDF' that was being said in other sources.

https://twitter.com/alonbd - last tweet is Oct 9.

This is Channel 13's second reference, same article:

Israel at war: Israeli security forces entered the fourth day of an iron sword war on Wednesday, during which heavy barrages were fired from Gaza towards central and southern Israel. From Lebanon, a barrage was fired at communities near the northern border, and the IDF responded with artillery fire. In the envelope area, IDF fighters continued to encounter terrorists, and in the evening three terrorists were neutralized in Ashkelon. At noon, the IDF Spokesperson announced that two senior members of Hamas' political bureau in the Gaza Strip had been assassinated. Meanwhile, a security source told Channel 13 News that the IDF's ground maneuver in Gaza would surprise Hamas, and threatened: "Gaza will become a tent city."


22:00 P.M. – A security source told Alon Ben David: "Gaza will eventually become a tent city. There will be no buildings. The ground maneuver will surprise Hamas."


Hard to find other more specific references of air time beyond this.

  • 10
    Yeah, "a security source" is not necessarily even a current gov't official. But I'm not familiar with the expression as used by the Israeli media to say whether WaPo made the right inference there (or not). Oct 11, 2023 at 14:51
  • 2
    WaPo have a long history of making up nonsense and attributing it to "sources".
    – Valorum
    Oct 12, 2023 at 8:00
  • 2
    @Valorum sources at WaPo have confirmed that.
    – MD-Tech
    Oct 12, 2023 at 10:55
  • 2
    What does WaPo's history of accuracy have to do with anything here? There appear to have been at least one Israeli source of the (unattributed) quote. If Channel 10 or Channel 13 made up the quote, it's on them, why bring WaPo's accuracy into question here? (unfortunately, I cannot even read the WaPo article, as it is paywalled and will not sign up for a 'free' account)
    – CGCampbell
    Oct 12, 2023 at 12:45
  • 1

I haven't found the exact quote, but a statement that matches its basic direction.

From tagesschau.de on Wednesday (note the wrongly spelled name):

Yamos Adlin, ehemaliger Chef des israelischen Geheimdienstes, sagte im israelischen Fernsehen, niemand werde einfach so Truppen in die Straßen Gazas schicken. "Habt Ihr euch mal die Straßen Gazas angeschaut? Das wäre ein Truppenkampf auf Ruinen. Klar, dass die Hamas nur auf die Soldaten wartet." Sie seien vorbereitet mit allen möglichen Sprengsätzen. "Wir werden erst alles plattmachen und dann werden die Truppen hineingehen. Sie haben es in unseren Ortschaften gemacht und der Krieg muss so enden, dass die Fahne Israels über den Ruinen Gazas wehen wird."

Amos Yadlin, former head of Israeli intelligence, said on Israeli television that no one would send troops into the streets of Gaza just like that. "Have you looked at the streets of Gaza? That would be a troop fight on ruins. It's clear that Hamas is just waiting for the soldiers." They are prepared with all kinds of explosives, he said. "We will flatten everything first and then the troops will go in. They did it in our towns and the war must end in such a way that the flag of Israel will fly over the ruins of Gaza."

(I would very much appreciate if someone found a more direct source and maybe even the original, probably hebrew, statement.)

The English WP article on Yadlin is outdated, here is a translated bio notice published yesterday by globes.co.il in a longer piece authored by him and which shows his current thoughts on strategy and Hesbollah involvement:

Major General (Retd.) Amos Yadlin is the former head of the Israel Defense Forces and is currently the president of Mind Israel, a body that advises security and political bodies on Israel's national security issues and maintains an international network of influence

  • 3
    That seems way more worrying than "city of tents" as it carries a reasoned intent and motivation. Rather than some machismo bravado delivered off the cuff. The question remains: will this be government/army policy? Oct 11, 2023 at 16:30

This may come from multiple officials (source):

Israeli defence officials have warned Gaza is going to be razed to the ground and reduced to “a city of tents”.

So it is plural in some sources that may make sense if the sentence actually comes from some propaganda they all were likely to hear.


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