It's just before sunrise on Saturday, Oct. 7, and hundreds of Hamas militants are creeping toward Gaza's border with Israel. Within minutes they will pour across, opening the gates of hell.

On that morning three weeks ago, neither the Israeli soldiers monitoring Gaza's high-tech border fence nor the civilians living in nearby towns and kibbutzim had any idea that Hamas was about to launch the bloodiest attack in Israel's 75-year history.

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that has ruled Gaza for the past 16 years, called it "Operation Al-Aqsa Flood" in reference to the mosque in Jerusalem's Old City that houses the third holiest site in Islam.