Former head of Military Intelligence, Yehoshua Saguy, dies at 87

During his time as head of Military Intelligence, he contributed to the significant increase in women serving in the Intelligence Corps.

Yehoshua Saguy. (photo credit: SHMUEL RAHMANI)
Yehoshua Saguy.
(photo credit: SHMUEL RAHMANI)
Yehoshua Saguy, the former head of IDF Military Intelligence (MI), passed away on Thursday at the age of 87, Israeli media reported.
Saguy served in various branches of the IDF from the early 1950s until 1983, the last four years of which he served as the head of MI, during the First Lebanon War.
During the war, in 1983, the Lebanese Christian militia carried out the killings of women and children in the Palestinian refugee camps of Shaba and Shatilla. Saguy warned that these acts of murder would be attributed to Israel.
The IDF let the militia into the camps, and the investigating Kahan Commission found Saguy responsible. He subsequently resigned from his position.
When he first drafted to the IDF in 1951, it was to 504th Unit in the Intelligence Corps, later becoming an officer. Saguy was an intelligence officer during the Six Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in October of 1973.
Towards the end of the 70s, in his role as the second-in-command at MI, he vocalized his protestations of the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, signed by then-Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and then-Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin. Saguy was suspicious that the Egyptians weren't being honest, and concerned about the possibility of an intentionally-unexpected war.
During his time as head of MI, he contributed to the significant increase in women serving in the Intelligence Corps.
Yehoshua Saguy. (Credit: YAAKOV SAAR/GPO)Yehoshua Saguy. (Credit: YAAKOV SAAR/GPO)
On June 7, 1981, Israel initiated an airstrike against Iraq's nuclear infrastructures, known as Operation Opera, the code name for the destruction of Osiraq, the name of the main reactor.
Saguy was not in favor of the preemptive attack at the time, and tried to offer non-aerial plans of attack. He insisted that destroyed the reactor at the time would set of the powder keg of middle-eastern Arab hatred towards Israel, as well as attract criticism from the international community, especially as it was estimated that it would take the Iraqis at least five years to fully produce the materials necessary for nuclear weapons.
After his military experiences, went on to become a Likud MK in the 12th Knesset (1988-1992) for a number of years, during which he served on the interior, foreign, and defense committees.
Saguy ran and won the seat of mayor for the city of Bat Yam, a title he held for ten years, from 1993-2003. The current mayor of Bat Yam, Tzvikah Brot lamented his loss, "On behalf of myself and the residents of this city, I wish to send condolences to Saguy's family. May his memory be a blessing," Israel Hayom noted.
After Bat Yam, Saguy went on to become the Israeli ambassador to the Philippines for three years, from 2004-2007.
"We part [today] from Maj. Gen. Yehoshua Saguy, who served as an intelligence officer during his entire military career, and was the head of Military Intelligence during a challenging a important time. May his memory be a blessing," tweeted former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon.
Saguy is survived by his wife, daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.