Historical Dictionary of Israeli Intelligence

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During his military career, Ehud Barak took part in the most dar-
ing clandestine operations of Sayeret Matkal. In 1972, he com-
manded the rescue operation of the passengers of a Sabena aircraft
hijacked by Palestinian terrorists. In April 1973 he commanded
Spring of Youth Operationin Beirut. Barak commanded the assas-
sination operation against Abu Jihadin his headquarters in Tunis in

  1. In May 1994, following the Gaza-Jericho agreement between
    the Palestinians, Lieutenant General Barak oversaw the IDF’s rede-
    ployment in the Gaza Strip and Jericho. Barak had a key role in fi-
    nalizing the peace treaty with Jordan, signed in 1994. In that year he
    also met his Syrian counterpart as part of the Syrian-Israeli negotia-
    tions. Barak was awarded the “Distinguished Service Medal” and
    four other citations for courage and operational excellence.
    In politics, Barak served as minister of the interior (July–November

  1. and minister of foreign affairs (November 1995–June 1996). He
    was elected to the Knesset in 1996, where he served as a member of
    the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. In 1996 Barak
    became the leader of the Labor party. During his term as the minister
    of foreign affairs, Barak preferred the MI assessments to those of the
    Center for Political Research(CPR) in his own ministry.
    Ehud Barak was elected prime minister of Israel on 17 May 1999.
    As prime minister, Barak tried to read all the assessments of the var-
    ious Israeli intelligence agencies. He completed his term on 7 March
    2001 after his loss to Ariel Sharon in special election for prime min-
    ister in February.

BAR-LAVI, ZE’EV.Known by his nickname Biber. Born in Berlin, Bar-
Lavi immigrated to Palestine, and he joined the Palmah at the age of

  1. Bar-Lavi started his intelligence career by preparing maps. In May
    1949 he joined Branch 2 (the Jordanian desk) of Military Intelligence
    (MI). In the following years he rose to become the head of Branch 3.
    On the eve of the 1967 Six-Day War, Bar-Lavi wrongly estimated that
    King Hussein of Jordan would keep out of the conflagration. Despite
    this mistaken assessment, Bar-Lavi was known by his colleagues and
    commanders in MI as the “man of Amman” (Jordan), a city he never
    visited. He knew almost everything about the Hashemite kingdom in
    general and the Arab Legion in particular. At MI briefings, Bar-Lavi
    presented King Hussein’s thinking in ways that usually proved accu-


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