Ehud Barak last week decided not to authorize a preemptive strike before the terrorist attack on the Egyptian border, a senior official in Jerusalem said. Barak feared that the move would spark a serious conflagration in the Gaza Strip.
The head of the Shin Bet security service, Yoram Cohen, recommended a strike against a terror cell of the Popular Resistance Committees.
The senior official said the recommendation followed precise intelligence on an effort to launch a terror attack out of Sinai; the organization had warned about it for some time.
The same intelligence was used several hours after the attack to kill the gunmen.
According to an Army Radio report, when the operational opportunity arose to strike at the militants, the Shin Bet recommended that action be taken. Nonetheless, senior defense officials and political leaders turned down the request, according to Army Radio.
In response, the IDF Spokesman’s Office said that “the report suffers from substantive factual inaccuracies, and due to operational and intelligence reasons we cannot elaborate on the matter.”
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