the israeli secret services and the struggle against terrorism pdf

The Israeli Secret Services And The Struggle Against Terrorism Pdf

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March was a devastating month for the citizens of Israel. The country was in the midst of the Al-Aqsa intifada and the suicide attack campaigns of the Palestinian organizations had reached their peak.

The Israeli Secret Services and the Struggle Against Terrorism

March was a devastating month for the citizens of Israel. The country was in the midst of the Al-Aqsa intifada and the suicide attack campaigns of the Palestinian organizations had reached their peak. The Israeli political leadership, however, was not ready to increase its response to the Palestinian attacks. The Israel Defense Forces were instructed to continue limited raids on the infrastructure of the Palestinian organizations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip , actions which included mainly arrests and intelligence gathering operations.

This policy of restraint changed after the night of March In the evening hours of that day, guests were sitting in the festive Park Hotel dining room, cheerfully celebrating the Passover holiday seder. Around pm the celebration was halted.

A Hamas operative by the name of Abd al-Basset Muhammad Odeh walked into the room and detonated an explosive device that was attached to his upper body. The aftermath was appalling. Twenty-nine Jews were killed and another were injured. The particular horrors of the attack and the fact that it was carried out on the Jewish holiday that celebrates the freedom of the People of Israel created a public and political environment that essentially left Israeli policy makers with no option but to respond with force.

In the majority of cases this proved to be futile in terms of operational effectiveness and Israel eventually initiated a massive military operation. The only exception to this rule is the struggle against terrorist organizations that have operated outside the Middle East. In these cases, Israel has opted for direct attacks on the leadership echelon of the organizations.

Along with its offensive responses, Israel has also adopted defensive mechanisms to maintain the personal security of its citizens. Have these features truly remained unchanged or have they evolved over the years? Have they been successful in operational or political terms?

For almost four decades scholars have been studying how democratic governments cope with terrorism. Table 1 — Counterterrorism Models. Criminal justice. Expanded Criminal Justice.

Reducing terrorists motivation to use violent means. Punishing and rehabilitation of terrorists and deterring potential future terrorists. Negotiations, Political reforms, Concessions. Policy makers, brokers and diplomats. Police and the criminal justice system.

Police, clandestine services and the criminal justice system. Clandestine services and military units. Four counter-terrorism models see Table 1 have been developed to explain the factors that influence state response to terrorism.

On one end of the spectrum are the non-violent defensive and reconciliatory models and, on the other, the violent criminal justice and war models. These countries were preoccupied with conflicting demands. On the one hand, they wanted to ensure the safety of their citizens and, on the other, they were committed to adhering to liberal democratic principles in their response to the threat. They needed to find a reasonable balance between democratic acceptability and effectiveness in the struggle against terrorism.

The expanded model adds special counterterrorism legislation that does not necessarily meet liberal, civil rights values with the standard tools of the criminal justice system. Such legislation includes laws that limit the rights of suspects involved in terrorist activity, expand the authority of the law enforcement and security agencies and introduce new legal mechanisms to limit the free operation of organizations promoting non-consensual radical ideologies. Administrative detentions and the establishment of special courts for terrorist offenses are also elements that are often used as part of the expanded criminal justice model.

The difference lies in the relative weight of each model in an overall counterterrorism policy at any given time. Except for the and Hezbollah attacks in Argentina against the AMIA building and the Israeli embassy and several more attacks in the last few years, international terrorism against Israeli targets virtually disappeared in the mid s.

The third type includes attacks perpetrated within the State of Israel by groups whose organizational infrastructure is located inside Israel or in areas under Israeli control.

In the following sections these three types of terrorism and the subsequent Israeli responses will be described in detail. The Israeli struggle with border terrorism can be divided into three main periods: The mid- s, the late s and the mids to the late s. In most cases Israel responded by using different variations of the war model.

Operational factors can explain this response. In democracies, the military apparatus is the main actor responsible for protecting the state borders, as well as responding to attacks initiated outside the country. In the mids, cells of Palestinian combatants Fedayeen infiltrated Israel from the Jordanian and Egyptian borders. They were recruited from the Palestinian population in the refugee camps and trained and dispatched by the intelligence services of the two countries. The Fedayeen attacked isolated Israeli settlements and ambushed Israeli vehicles on the roads.

Figure 1 — Fedayeen Attacks [10]. New York: Columbia University Press. The military presented the political leadership with the positive potential of dispatching small commando units to perform raids against concentrations of civilians and military personnel in the areas where infiltrators originated. Dayan objected to the concept of activating IDF units for retaliatory attacks [13] Regardless, on August 5, , the directive to establish the unit was issued and the young Ariel Sharon was appointed as its leader.

Despite the fact that Unit was admired by many in the Israeli public, the unit was incorporated into the Paratroopers Brigade only a short while after its establishment.

The Israeli public had demanded a fitting act of retribution; however, during the operation, which included the destruction of a residential building in the village, the unit failed to confirm evacuation of the buildings.

Consequently, sixty-nine Palestinians were killed. World public opinion responded with severe denunciation and ten days after the operation, Israel received an official condemnation by the United Nations Security Council [15] Shortly thereafter, the first commando unit of the IDF was disbanded.

Thus, while the war was driven by broader factors in the region, it provided a terminal solution to the Egyptian Fedayeen problem. Among these was the increasing understanding among a growing number of Palestinians that more severe methods should be utilized in order to promote their political aspirations. Fatah did not remain the leading force in the Palestinian conflict for long.

Shortly after its establishment, other competing organizations emerged. Tension between Fatah and the PLO began to appear immediately thereafter. It subsided only five years later when Yasser Arafat and his Fatah supporters took control of the PLO and transformed it into an umbrella organization for the majority of Palestinian groups.

Other prominent Palestinian terrorist groups appeared in the late s. Some of them combined left-wing ideology with Palestinian nationalism such as the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine while others were proxies of Arab countries aspiring to be involved in the Palestinian violent struggle e. In the mid s, Fatah, looking for a viable front for its armed struggle, established a military infrastructure in Jordan and from there it dispatched terrorist cells to initiate attacks against Israeli civilian and military targets.

The most severe attack occurred on October 7, On that night Fatah members hid explosives at the entrances to several buildings on Gadera Steet in the Romema neighborhood of Jerusalem. Seven residents were injured as a result of the blasts and severe damage was caused to many apartments. The increase in Palestinian terrorism after the Six-Day War was a result of both operative and political factors.

Paradoxically, the Israeli military successes during the Six-Day War made Israel more vulnerable to the terrorist campaigns of the Palestinian groups. Israel was now compelled to deal with a new population of more than two million Palestinians who lived in the West Bank. Additionally, Israel gained a new border with the Jordanian Kingdom that entailed more than miles of unfenced and unprotected frontier land, with only the Jordan River as a natural barrier.

Fatah took full advantage of these conditions. Fatah cells crossed the border on an almost daily basis to engage in ambushes, attacks on isolated Israeli settlements and explosive planting in civilian facilities in Israeli cities, mainly in Jerusalem. Between the years and , Fatah initiated more than attacks. Fatah also tried to establish a terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank with Yasser Arafat secretly roaming the West Bank shortly after the war. This attempt was largely unsuccessful, however, mainly because of the ability of the GSS [General Security Service] to lay out an efficient human intelligence network in Palestinian towns and villages as well as the firm control of the military administration over the local Palestinian population.

The offensive measures included systematic retaliatory attacks of IDF elite infantry against Palestinian compounds in Jordan. The Palestinian groups reestablished their military and organizational infrastructure relatively quickly, using southern Lebanon as a base for training and dispatching terrorist cells to attack targets inside Israel.

Other attacks were characterized by similar features see Figure 2. Figure 2 - Hostage Rescue Missions, Along with raids on Palestinian bases in northern Lebanon, the Israeli response included an intensification of the specialization of the IDF elite military units in reacting and thwarting hostage incidents.

This was the result of recommendations made by the Horev Committee, which investigated the Ma'alot disaster. Nonetheless, in most cases, even after the YAMAM became active, the Israeli leaders continued to prefer the use of military units in such incidents. Political and sociological reasons explain this; among them the high proportion of the Israeli political leadership who had emerged from the military, as well as the strong status of the IDF among the Israeli public.

Nevertheless, Israeli experience clearly shows the advantage of using the police Special Forces over the military see Figure 2. On March 11, , a Palestinian terrorist cell took over an Israeli bus on the coastal road. During the unsuccessful rescue operation, 35 passengers were killed and 71 were injured. This did not put an end to the attacks on northern Israel.

The following year, the understandings gradually eroded, eventually leading to the first Lebanon War in June Israeli forces eliminated the infrastructure of the Palestinian terrorist organization in the country, forcing its leaders to flee to Tunisia. In both cases, escalation of the violence and an unusually bloody attack with an unprecedented psychological effect eventually led the Israeli government to step up its military response.

From a small insurgency group of southern Lebanese Shiites who were trained by the Iranian revolutionary guard, it became one of the most prominent political and military actors in the country. Hezbollah demanded the complete withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon and it initiated attacks against Israeli posts, ambushed Israeli convoys and planted remote control bombs near Israeli or SLA facilities.

Israel responded with limited air and ground raids. After years of confrontation, however, Hezbollah succeeded in killing six Israeli soldiers in less than two weeks in mid-July and continued to target the northern Israeli settlements with Katyusha missiles.

In the face of public discontent, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin visited the Israeli northern settlements and assured their inhabitants that Israel would retaliate. The Israeli leadership hoped that the Israeli bombardment would cause masses of Lebanese refugees to flee north toward Beirut. This, in turn, would put pressure on the Lebanese government to force Hezbollah to put down its arms. At the core of this agreement was the understanding that neither side would attack civilian populations.

The Israeli Secret Services and the Struggle Against Terrorism

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Country Reports on Terrorism 2019

New York: Columbia University Press, On Thursday, April 12, four Fatah operatives commandeered the number Egged bus en route from Tel Aviv, making hostages out of the thirty-four passengers on board. Although Israel had a unit within its police force the "Yamam" that was specifically trained to deal with hostage events, Chief of Staff Moshe Levy "arbitrarily" called on Sayeret Matkal, a reconnaissance unit within the Israeli Defense Forces IDF , to conduct the rescue operation. Sayeret's mission ended after approximately nine minutes. During that time, two of the kidnappers and one of the hostages were killed and seven more passengers wounded.

The Israeli Secret Services and the Struggle Against Terrorism

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies

Purchasing options are not available in this country. While Mossad is known as one of the world's most successful terrorist-fighting organizations, the state of Israel has, more than once and on many levels, risked the lives of its agents and soldiers through unwise intelligence-based intervention. The elimination of Palestinian leaders and militants has not decreased the incidence of Palestinian terrorism, for example. In fact, these incidents have become more lethal than ever, and ample evidence suggests that the actions of Israeli intelligence have fueled terrorist activities across the globe. An expert on terror and political extremism, Ami Pedahzur argues that Israel's strict reliance on the elite units of the intelligence community is fundamentally flawed. A unique synthesis of memoir, academic research, and information gathered from print and online sources, Pedahzur's complex study explores this issue through Israel's past encounters with terrorists, specifically hostage rescue missions, the first and second wars in Lebanon, the challenges of the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinian terrorist groups, and Hezbollah.

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In , the United States and our partners made major strides to defeat and degrade international terrorist organizations. And throughout the year, a number of countries in Western Europe and South America joined the United States in designating Iran-backed Hizballah as a terrorist group in its entirety. Despite these successes, dangerous terrorist threats persisted around the world. Even as ISIS lost its leader and territory, the group adapted to continue the fight from its affiliates across the globe and by inspiring followers to commit attacks. The Iranian regime and its proxies continued to plot and commit terrorist attacks on a global scale.

A succinct but thoroughly researched account of how Israel's security agencies have sought to defeat terrorist organizations from the pre-state Yishuv to events following the war with Hezbollah. After examining the historical record, Ami Pedahzur concludes that the application of defensive measures has proved more successful in deterring terrorist attacks than 'targeted killings' and other forms of warlike measures. Israel's political and military leaders were consistently unable to resist the temptation of dramatic and costly uses of force when modest defensive or conciliatory measures were preferable.

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