ANALYSIS / Excellent intel on Gaza shows Israel learned from its errors in Lebanon
By Yossi Melman, Ha’aretz , Jan. 8, 2009
At a Hanukkah candle-lighting at the Shin Bet security services headquarters two weeks ago, Yuval Diskin spoke with former heads of departments about the organization’s preparedness to confront Hamas. The head of the Shin Bet sounded quite cautious. Perhaps even he was surprised by the quality of the intelligence that he and his people had succeeded in providing the Israel Defense Forces during the months of planning that preceded Operation Cast Lead and in the days prior to its launch.
Even those who object to the war in the Gaza Strip will find it hard not to agree that this time around, the intelligence community mostly succeeded in delivering the goods. Seen in the light of the Second Lebanon War failures, these achievements are particularly impressive. Back in 2006, the strategic data provided by the intelligence community was deemed sound, as it allowed the air force to within 34 minutes destroy most of Hezbollah’s hideouts for its long-range rockets. But there were many shortcomings at the level of tactical intelligence, especially field intelligence. Even if Military Intelligence had had information about Hezbollah bunkers or outposts, this intel did not always succeed in reaching the forces in the field.
The Israel Defense Forces drew lessons from its failures, and this time, the fighters were better prepared. They are equipped with good intelligence measures and also have access to reliable information while in the field. The dissemination of intelligence is made possible by Shin Bet case officers, who work out of IDF command centers. (Continue Reading this Article)