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Where were the Israel Defense Forces, in those long hours as Hamas militants roamed at will around communities near Gaza, some are asking.

“The army completely failed as a quick-reaction force,” one Israeli said, pointing to how some of the communities that came under attack had to rely on their own civilian protection forces while they waited for the military to arrive.

The full answer of why this happened will take some time to emerge. But it seems as if surprise, scale and speed overwhelmed defences which were patchy and unprepared for what they faced.

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