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C.I.A. Homes In on Hamas Leadership, U.S. Officials Say

U.S.C.I.A. Homes In on Hamas Leadership, U.S. Officials Say

The C.I.A. is collecting information on senior Hamas leaders and the location of hostages in Gaza, and is providing that intelligence to Israel as it carries out its war in the enclave, according to U.S. officials.

A new task force assembled in the days after the Hamas-led Oct. 7 terror attacks on Israel, in which 1,200 people were killed and some 240 taken hostage back in Gaza, has uncovered information on Hamas’s top leaders, according to U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence assessments.

Immediately after the Oct. 7 attack, Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, sent a memo to the intelligence agencies and Defense Department ordering the task force’s creation and directing increased intelligence collection on Hamas’s leadership, officials said.

The establishment of the task force has not created any new legal authorities, but the White House raised the priority of collecting intelligence on Hamas.

It is not clear how valuable the information has been to Israel, though none of the most senior leaders of Hamas has been captured or killed. The United States is not providing Israel with intelligence on low or midlevel Hamas operatives.

Israel had estimated before Oct. 7 that Hamas had 20,000 to 25,000 fighters. By the end of 2023, Israel had told American officials they believed they had killed roughly a third of that force.

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