Mossad, IDF ‘resisted order’ to prepare for Iran war in 2010

Ehud Barak and Gabi AshkenaziBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The heads of Israel’s army and main spy agency resisted an order issued by the Israeli Prime Minister to prepare for an all-out military attack on Iranian nuclear installations in 2010, according to a report aired today. According to Monday’s edition of Uvda (Fact), a popular investigative program on Israel’s Channel 2 television, the command to prepare for an attack was given by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak. The two men delivered the order to a meeting of senior cabinet ministers, telling them that the Israeli military’s preparedness level would be elevated to ‘P plus’, effective immediately. According to Uvda, ‘P plus’ meant that the Israeli armed forces should prepare to take military action at a moment’s notice. However, the then-Director of Israeli spy agency Mossad, Meir Dagan, who was present at the meeting, asked to speak and, according to Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, which said it has seen the Uvda program, “came out sharply” against both Netanyahu and Barak. He told those present that elevating the military preparedness to ‘P plus’ was something that technically could only be decided at a meeting of Israel’s Political-Security Cabinet. Also known as “the inner cabinet”, the group, which consists of over a dozen Ministers and is led by the Prime Minister, is tasked with outlining and implementing Israel’s foreign and defense policy. Dagan told the two men that “only the [inner] cabinet is authorized to decide this” and warned them that they were “likely to make an illegal decision to go to war”. Dagan’s objection was later reinforced when General Gabi Ashkenazi, then-leader of the Israel Defense Forces, told the Prime Minister that the Israeli army was not ready to elevate its preparedness level to a ‘P plus’. Read more of this post

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Israeli Navy insiders deplore Gaza flotilla raid

Mike Eldar

Mike Eldar

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A day after a former Mossad officer described last week’s Israeli raid on a fleet of Gaza-bound aid ships as “stupid”, former and current Israeli Navy insiders have strongly criticized the bloody operation. Speaking from Israel, Mike Eldar, a 20-year veteran of an elite Israeli Navy special missions unit, said the only explanation for the Israel Defense Forces’ attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was “stupidity [and] super egos”. He was echoing the words of former Mossad case officer Victor Ostrovsky, who last week described the raid as an act that was “so stupid it is stupefying”. The operation, carried by the IDF’s elite Shayetet 13 amphibious unit, resulted in the deaths of nine and the injuries of over 60 flotilla passengers. Elgar added that the botched raid’s result “made no sense”, considering that there must have been Mossad agents on board the ships, and that the IDF “had at least two weeks to prepare, with lots of practice”. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #327

  • Cyberspies eyed Canadian visa applications. Personal information about Canadians applying for visas was swiped by cyberspies who hacked into Indian embassy computers in Afghanistan. The data theft was part of a wider cyberespionage operation launched by the underground hacking community in China and aimed primarily at political targets, according to academic researchers.
  • Israeli Arab jailed for spying on top general. Rawi Sultani, who is accused of informing Hezbollah of his membership in the same fitness club as Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as of methods of accessing the club, has been sentenced to nearly six years’ imprisonment.
  • CIA places American on assassination list. US-born al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Aulaqi, who now lives in Yemen, has become the first US citizen to be placed on a CIA “targeted killing” list, which requires “special approval from the White House”.

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News you may have missed #0216

  • China launches new spy satellite. Beijing says the satellite will be used for “land resources surveys [and] crop yield estimates”, but outside experts say it is likely an electro-optical spy satellite that will be operated by the Chinese military.
  • Man accused of spying on Israeli military chief may go free. Arab Israeli Rawi Sultani was arrested last August for allegedly spying on Israel’s military chief, Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi, on behalf of Lebanese group Hezbollah. But he may be released due to a technical oversight by the prosecutors.

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News you may have missed #0110

  • So, was it pirates or Israeli spies that intercepted a ship carrying Russian missiles? Several observers are beginning to think that Israeli intelligence intercepted or was otherwise involved in the interception of the Arctic Sea, a Russian ship that reportedly carried Russian missiles destined for either Iran or Hezbollah.
  • Trial of accused Palestinian spy begins in Israel. Rawi Sultani is accused of having informed Hezbollah of his membership in the same fitness club as the head of Israel’s military forces, Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi, in the town of Kfar Saba, as well methods of access into the club. Sultani says that the whole case is nonsense and that he doesn’t even know what Ashkenazi looks like.
  • Czech spies see Russians behind antiwar group’s actions. The Czech Security Information Service (BIS) is monitoring a billboard agency, which has given free advertising space to an antiwar group opposing the country’s participation in US missile defense shield plans. The US announced on Thursday that it plans to abandon the plans. Newspaper Aktuálně reported that BIS suspects Russian involvement. People in the Czech Republic are incapable of opposing US missile shield plans without Russian prompting, it appears.

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Arab Israeli accused of spying for Hezbollah

Gabi Ashkenazi

Gabi Ashkenazi

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Israeli authorities have indicted an Arab Israeli for spying on the country’s military chief, on behalf of Lebanese group Hezbollah. In the indictment, presented earlier this morning, 23-year-old Rawi Sultani is accused of having informed Hezbollah of his membership in the same fitness club as Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi, in the town of Kfar Saba, as well methods of access into the club. Sultani is said to have attended a pro-Hezbollah summer camp in Morocco in the summer of 2008, where he allegedly told Hezbollah operatives about his proximity to Ashkenazi. Israeli authorities accuse Sultani of having travelled to Poland, several months later, where he met another Hezbollah operative with the purpose of supplying him with information about security arrangements at the fitness club, as well as Ashkenazi’s training routine. Sultani’s defense team denies the charges, and claims that the 23-year-old Arab citizen of Israel did not realize he was volunteering the information to agents of Hezbollah.

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