Ex-IDF intel. chief Shlomo Gazit dies at age 93

Gazit is credited with rehabilitating IDF intel. after 1973 war disaster

Former IDF Intelligence head Shlomo Gazit EMBED (photo credit: Courtesy of Shlomo Gazit )
Former IDF Intelligence head Shlomo Gazit EMBED
(photo credit: Courtesy of Shlomo Gazit )
Former IDF intelligence chief Shlomo Gazit died at age 93 on Thursday.
Gazit ran IDF intelligence from 1974-1979 and was credited with rehabilitating it as an institution after the agency was discredited for missing Egypt’s surprise attack during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
During his term as the military intelligence chief, Gazit was also involved in peace contacts with Egypt and coping with a variety of terror threats on the borders.
Prior to holding that position, Gazit also headed the Civil Administration for the Palestinian areas for seven years and other top positions in IDF intelligence.
After retiring, Gazit served as president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, head of the Jewish Agency and periodically weighed in on key national security issues.
In a 2011 report by the Israeli Peace and Security Association and in a 2016 interview with Yediot Aharonot, Gazit criticized Israel’s leadership for failing to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians and to restrain the settler movement.
Moreover, he argued that Israel could relinquish the Jordan Valley based on the idea that Israel was vulnerable to strategic rocket fire from adversaries with or without control of the Jordan Valley.
Born in 1926 as Shlomo Weinstein in Istanbul, his family later moved to Mandatory Palestine.
During the War of Independence, Gazit served in the Harel Brigade, and initially took part in fighting the Arab Legion, participating in the Battles of Latrun and Operation Yoav.
He served as head of IDF intelligence analysis from 1964 through the Six Day War.
In his 2016 Yediot interview, Gazit disclosed that the Mossad was able to obtain access to the secret recordings of a conference of Arab nations held to prepare for a potential conflict with Israel.
He said this intelligence was significant in helping the IDF prepare for the Six Day War as well as giving the military greater confidence about its war plans despite prophecies of doom and imminent defeat among the general population.