In 2008, the Israel Defense Forces attempted to kidnap then head of Hamas’ military wing, Ahmed Jabari, to use him as a bargaining chip for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, the Walla news web site reported on Thursday.
Precise hit on Ahmed Jabari . The Israel’s air strike destroyed the Hamas commander’s car & driver.
The IDF later killed Jabari in a pinpoint attack in 2012, about a year after Hamas released Schalit in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
According to Walla, Israeli intelligence had learned that Jabari was in the habit of returning from visiting one of his wives and then proceeding to another location in the Gaza Strip in such a way that an elite IDF unit could set up an ambush. Jabari also consistently refused to use a secure motorcade, preferring instead to ride in a private vehicle with one or two security guards.
“The likelihood that he would have been captured alive was high. We have the appropriate weapons to ensure that he would have survived the ambush, and if we had wanted, we could have eliminated the bodyguards,” a source close to the operation told Walla.
The forces waited for the command, but then received an order to retreat due to a glitch. A few days later, the order came again. The special IDF forces secretly made their way to the site of the ambush while the country’s entire security brass gathered in a Shin Bet security agency situation room in Tel Aviv.
In the room were Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, who commanded the operation, as well as then-head of the Israel Air Force Air Division Nimrod Sheffer, then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak, then-Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and then-Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin. Hours passed until the last of the soldiers reached the target area in complete secrecy. The waiting ended at 9 p.m.
That evening, Jabari exhibited nothing unusual in his behavior. Galant gave the order to take positions, and within minutes Jabari should have arrived at the site of the ambush. Jabari’s vehicle approached the turn where it was supposed to go in the direction of the soldiers. But the driver continued in a different direction. The soldiers were ordered to retreat and return home.
Had Jabari been captured alive, he might have been traded for Schalit and still be alive today. Instead, his 2012 assassination sparked the Gaza offensive Operation Pillar of Defense.
“During the years of Schalit’s captivity, the IDF made many efforts — intelligence, operational and others — to return him to Israel. Naturally we cannot provide more information about these efforts,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=10945