The Israeli Air Force has been unable to employ targeted killings in the fight against Hezbollah to any significant degree because of a shortage of real-time intelligence, a high-ranking IDF officer told the Jerusalem Post.
The good news is that this has caused the three Israeli intelligence agencies- the Mossad, the Shin Bet and Military Intelligence - to work together in an almost unprecedented way, Israeli’s are saying. Of course, The universal competitiveness of every government’s bureaucratic agencies is both their strength and their weakness and, of course, it is always more difficult to gather intelligence during a war than before the fighting begins.
Since July 12, the Israeli Air Force has flown more than 6,400 sorties over Lebanon and has hit over 4,000 Hezbollah and Lebanese targets.
Some of the missile strikes, the Jerusalem Post quoted an Israeli officer as saying, were "along the lines" of targeted killings, but most failed.
The IAF did have great success on the first day of fighting when it struck 59 high-value targets in Lebanon, including some of Hezbollah’s long- and medium-range missile launchers in central Lebanon.
Mistakes, said the newspaper, were made along the way, mostly due to faulty intelligence.
This week, the IAF struck a car in Lebanon believed to be carrying a senior Hezbollah operative. Instead the car turned out to be driven by three Lebanese army soldiers. They were killed in the strike.
Another example occurred two weeks ago, when IAF fighter jets dropped 23 tons of bombs on a bunker in Beirut where the Israelis believed Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and other Hezbollah leaders were hiding.
It turned out that Nasrallah wasn't there.
Over the last few years, Israeli Military Intelligence has prepared comprehensive dossiers on Hezbollah positions in more than 170 villages in southern Lebanon.
However, in many recent cases, battalion and brigade commanders have complained that the information was not passed on to them in time for the ground fighting.
The dossiers include detailed maps and information showing the number of Hezbollah guerrillas as well as their positions, fortifications and arsenals.
Last week, an IDF commander said that due to the sensitivity of the intelligence sources used to produce the dossiers, the information was withheld from the units and was only shown to the intelligence officers at the divisional level, and a few at the brigade level.
None of the battalion intelligence officers who were supposed to prepare the units before battle saw the dossiers, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Also, this week's DZ lineup is here.