yaalon chief of staff 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Vice Premier and
former IDF chief of General Staff Moshe Ya'alon said that according to
the intelligence information available at the time, "we didn't know that
the building next to Shehadeh's was occupied by civilians overnight,"
in an interview with Army Radio on Monday.
"Had we known that people were sleeping in it," he said, "we wouldn't have authorized the Shehadeh killing."
'Deaths in 2002 Shehadeh killing came from faulty intel'
The statement followed a report presented Sunday that said faulty
intelligence led planners to place insufficient emphasis on the risks to
innocent civilians during the targeted killing of senior Hamas leader
Salah Shehadeh in 2002.
The report, authored by Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Eitan, former Shin Bet
agent Yitzhak Dar and retired Supreme Court justice Tova
Strasberg-Cohen, said that in deciding to drop a one-ton bomb on
Shehadeh’s house in Gaza City, “too much weight was placed on the
immediate strike on Shehadeh, and too little weight was given to the
possible risk to uninvolved civilians as a result of the strike.”
Hamas terrorist Salah Shehadeh was killed in Gaza City on July 22, 2002. Palestinian officials said 15 people were killed in the raid - Shehadeh, 49, the commander of the head of Hamas's Izzadin Kassam "military wing" in Gaza, his wife, a daughter, and his right-hand man, Zaher Nasser, 35, as well as nine children.
Controversy followed revelations that a one-ton bomb was used in the assassination, which led to significant civilian casualties.
The case also resulted in a Spanish investigation against seven top Israeli military and government officials for suspected crimes against humanity.
A Spanish judge reportedly reached his decision to open an investigation after determining that Israel had not launched any probe into the incident. That decision was critical for determining jurisdiction in a case where the concept of "universal jurisdiction" could be applied.
Ron Friedman and Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.