‘Newsweek’ Magazine Cites Yossi Melman on Assassinations: Part of Israeli War Strategy?

In its latest issue, Newsweek magazine has an article by New York-based Benny Avni that explores whether targeted assassinations are a part of Israeli war strategy.

An airstrike : IDF photo

An airstrike : IDF photo

It certainly can be argued that in the flurry of events that led to a ceasefire — which seems to represent the end of the Gaza war after more than 7 weeks of bloodshed — highly targeted Israeli airstrikes made the big difference.

Based on precise intelligence, Israel managed to kill at least three — and probably more — senior Hamas military commanders in Gaza. Then, as seen on TV worldwide, Israel’s air force flattened three tall buildings in the heart of Gaza city.

Israel’s intelligence agencies and military (the IDF) seemed to be showing off their capabilities for precision — coupled with more effective early warning that prompted nearly all the residents of the doomed tower blocks to leave before the edifices were destroyed.

In Newsweek, Benny Avni wrote about why Israel decided to take the shots — and kill the Hamas commanders:

“This is not about revenge,” says Yossi Melman, a leading Israeli expert on counterterrorism and espionage. “Yes, revenge may play a role, but the main goal is to disrupt future attacks.

…But does it work? “Assassinations are pyrotechnics,” says Melman, co-author of the book Spies Against Armageddon. “There are no illusions on the Israeli side that it’s a cure-all. At best, it disrupts the enemy temporarily. But that’s the nature of the war on terror: Every victory is temporary.”


August 27, 2014

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