“Rubbish” and Truths: During Gaza War, A Visit with Yossi Melman

Benjamin Weinthal, a Berlin-based analyst, journalist, and fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (an American think tank), writes in National Review Online of his recent visit — during the Gaza mini-war — to experts in Israel, including Spies Against Armageddon co-author Yossi Melman.

For the full article, click here.  The title is “Did Israel Defeat Hamas?”  Here’s an excerpt:

During my interviews with leading military and intelligence reporters in Israel, there was a clear consensus that Israel had to respond to the growing violence from Hamas (including over 100 rockets fired into the south of the tiny Jewish country in November prior to the war). “Hamas eroded the cease-fire. Israel could not take it anymore,” Yossi Melman told me in Tel Aviv. Melman works as a commentator with the popular Israeli news outlet Walla, and is the co- author, with Dan Raviv, of the highly acclaimed Spies against Armageddon, which goes deep into the weeds of the enormously complex history of Israeli intelligence agencies.

Melman was referring to the cease-fire of 2009 which brought an end to Operation Cast Lead (Act I in the hot war), launched in 2008 to stop Hamas from raining rockets on Israel’s southern periphery. Hamas broke the cease-fire by shooting at Israeli patrols on the border and by its continued rocket fire.

That helps to explain why Melman dismissed as “rubbish” the view of some commentators that the head of Hamas’s military-operations, Ahmed Jabari, was a “moderate force.” He added that Israel’s pinpoint strike taking out Jabari caused turmoil within the Hamas leadership.

It took five years to reach a negotiated deal with Jabari to secure the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas in exchange for the release of over 1,000 Palestinian criminals and terrorists. Melman dryly noted that it would have perhaps taken ten years to negotiate a cease-fire with Jabari to end his rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. The targeted killing of Jabari was nothing short of a remarkable combination of Israeli human intelligence and military expertise.

The interview with Melman ended with a boom in the sky of Tel Aviv. We heard Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercept a Hamas rocket aimed at Tel Aviv. The Iron Dome had a spectacular 85 percent success rate in intercepting Hamas missiles.

November 26, 2012

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