Amos Yadlin, formerly the head of Military Intelligence, said on Thursday that Israel had tried to eliminate Mohammed Deif, head of Hamas’s “military wing”, back in 2006, right before the Second Lebanon War.
At a memorial service marking the 8th anniversary of the death of Lieutenant Colonel Emanuel Moreno, an IDF hero from the elite Sayeret Matkal unit who was the last soldier killed in the Second Lebanon War, Yadlin spoke about this failed attempt which, he said, took place the day before the outbreak of the war.
"We had very good intelligence on Deif, the air force received the coordinates [of his whereabouts],” said Yadlin.
Instead of a one ton bomb, we decided to shoot two quarter ton bombs in order to avoid hitting innocent civilians. One of them didn't explode, and Deif survived. As we came to report this to the Chief of Staff, the announcement about the abduction of the two soldiers [Eldad] Regev and [Ehud] Goldwasser came in, and the Second Lebanon War began,” he recalled.
Yadlin’s remarks come several days after an Israeli airstrike once again targeted Deif’s home in Gaza. So far there have been conflicting reports continue as to Deif’s fate. Israeli officials said that Deif was killed in the IAF airstrikes, but Hamas continues to deny this.
“Two days ago the Air Force hit Deif’s home, and to this day we do not know whether he was there or not. Bombs were not spared this time, and so I hope they did the work,” Yadlin said.
“The wars we see these days are not like the wars of the past,” he continued. “During the first week of Operation Protective Edge I met with the Prime Minister and said, 'Look, this is not going to be easy, it's not a quick fix solution. Wars today are far more complicated. Look how long it took us to deal with the terror initiated by Yasser Arafat. It's not over in six days or six weeks... it took six years and we won, because this nation is strong."
“The war in Gaza is certainly not simple and is longer than the recent war in Lebanon, but we will win,” said Yadlin. “We are a 3,000-year-old nation with lots of faith and we don't judge the situation according to the evening news edition, or even the weekly news summary... we need patience.”