Yves Shefner in Israel at War 2006

Life in Haifa and north of Israel during the 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon

Thursday, July 20, 2006

July 20th - part 2. Israel surprised

I saw my neighbor Itzhak (Isaac) tonight while walking the dogs. He is a Russian immigrant here for many years. He works in the Technion university and was organizing a class action against the Ministry of Defence (before the war) to stop transmitting at high output from HUGE antennas at the top of our street.

His son's good friend was killed on the ship hit by a Chinese-made, Iranian-supplied Silkworm land to sea missile. He was first listed as missing and then later they found his body. The ship might have easily detected, deflected or destroyed the missile, only the anti-missile system was switched off.

Itzhak mentioned that it is customary for a lot of the officers to visit the mourning family and comfort them. They mentioned that Israeli intelligence did not know Hezbollah had such sophisticated missiles, nor other types of missiles. The system was turned off in order not to risk accidental friendly fire. They also had no idea that they had over 10,000 of them. They had no idea that Hezzbollah would become so well-prepared, and so bold. He likens the situation to the days before the Yom Kippur war in '73, when Israel ignored many clear signals, including a supposed personal warning from King Hussein that Egypt and Syria will attack. Even what Israeli intelligence did learn, did not fit with the midset of the time - that given Israel's military superiority proven in the 6-day war a few years earlier, they wouldn't dare attack.

It seems doubtfull to me that Israeli intelligence did not know about this given the human spy network, satelite photos and close proximity to the border. Given my recent experience with government bureacracy, it is more likely that someone along the chain of information just didn't bother telling the boat commanders.

Shalom,

Yves

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