31.03.2011 25.Adar ll, 5771
Agent Rif'at al-Gamal enabled Israel's victory in the Six Day War. So why was his chief handler in Israel overlooked?
In the 1950s, an agent in deep cover was sent to Israel by the Egyptians was caught. He agreed to collaborate with Israel and become a double agent, and through him, Israel was able to pass on false information to the Egyptians. The code name given the agent, and later the entire operation, was "Yated" (stake ). One of the most remarkable deceptions in Israeli intelligence history, Operation Yated was the topic of a lecture delivered earlier this week at the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center.
The person most closely identified with the operation, who for six years served as Yated's handler, was David Ronen. He eventually ended up serving as deputy director of the Shin Bet security service. But surprisingly, Ronen was not the person delivering the lecture. In a conversation yesterday, Ronen told me that he did not understand why he was not invited and that in protest, he had decided not to attend. Perhaps the reason he was ignored is that the Shin Bet still bears a grudge against him for hinting at the affair years ago. In the 1990s Ronen published a novel in Hebrew called "The Sting of the Wasp (The Story of a Double Agent )," in which he alluded to Operation Yated. Five years ago, he wrote a book about the affair, but the Shin Bet and Mossad have delayed its publication demanding that he insert changes….