The soldiers said they had raised concerns for weeks beforehand about suspicious activity on Israel’s southern border with the Gaza strip and which they said ‘raised red flags’. Commanders were informed of ‘training, anomalies and preparations’ near the border and the soldiers told Channel 12 they had seen ‘new people visiting farms around the border’.One said: ‘More and more people who had never visited the area suddenly came to it, and farmers who used to come suddenly stopped working on the fields and were replaced.’ The soldiers said this ‘rang alarm bells’ with them but when they voiced their concerns to commanding officers in the Israeli Defence Force they were brushed aside. One allegedly said: ‘I don’t want to hear about this nonsense again. If you bother with these things again, you will stand trial.’Another is said to have snorted: ‘Hamas are just a bunch of punks, they won’t do anything.’