Shalit affair represents failure of Israel’s security forces

18.10.2011                      20.Tischrei. 5772                       Chol Hamo'ed 4

Politik:

Shalit affair represents failure of Israel's security forces

'The culmination of the Shalit affair in this fashion is a sad day for the IDF,' Colonel (res. ) Ronen Cohen, who held high posts in the IDF intelligence branch until recently, told Haaretz.

Israel was forced to compromise and sign the Shalit deal because it lacked other alternatives. Of course, it is possible that Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime ministers who served during this five year period of contacts, would not have authorized an operation aimed at freeing Gilad Shalit, due to fears that such a military effort would culminate in failure, like the 1994 attempt to free Nachshon Wachsman. That operation ended with the hostage's death, and casualties among the IDF soldiers. But the truth is that neither Olmert nor Netanyahu faced such a dilemma: throughout the Shalit kidnapping affair, security officials never proposed a military raid with the potential to free the IDF soldier.
In this respect, the Shalit affair represents a failure for Israeli security forces. The branch which has sustained the bulk of criticism is the Shin Bet security service; its heads have admitted to an inability to compile relevant information. However, a sober look at events of the last five years discloses that the IDF also had a role in this failure. "The culmination of the Shalit affair in this fashion is a sad day for the IDF," Colonel (res. ) Ronen Cohen, who held high posts in the IDF intelligence branch until recently, told Haaretz. Cohen relates to the army's inability to propose an operational alternative to a prisoner release deal as a "failure fraught with implications. The IDF never took responsibility for the soldier. The whole matter was just tossed over to the Shin Bet."…