By Ian Black
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Additional resources for Israel’s Secret Wars: A History of Israel’s Intelligence Services
At the same time, the Shai, the Arab Division of the Jewish Agency Political Department and the Palmah’s Arab Platoon all failed to obtain definitive intelligence about enemy intentions and planning until a week or so before the invasion of 15 May. In part this was due to the nature of the beast - Arab irresolu tion. In mid- or even late April most if not all of the Arab leaders were still undecided about whether or not to invade. And it was the amateur, poorly planned and poorly coordinated character of the invasion that in great measure underlay its defeat.
When a British motorcycle approached, the driver was bundled into the vehicle’s trunk. Later they killed him and threw the body into a gully. 14 The Mist’Aravim were often used for ‘dirty tricks’ missions, including sabotage and assassinations of Arab military and 42 I s r a e l ’s secret w a r s political leaders. On 28 February 1948 Shahar men blew up the Abu Sham garage in the downtown Arab area of Haifa after receiving information that a bomb that had been prepared on the premises was due to be planted in a ‘crowded Jewish street’ in a ‘British’ military ambulance.
Gibli, a handsome twenty-nine-year-old who had worked closely with Ezra Danin, and had been head of the Jerusalem Shai since April, became commander of Shin Mem 1, the service’s combat intelligence unit. Karon, for example, continued to work in areas where he 56 Is r a e l ’s secret w a r s was an expert. 52 The Intelligence Service was beefed up by veterans of the British and US armies, and by a range of technical experts, including radio men, cryptanalysts, geographers and scientists. By early 1949 it comprised eleven departments, a structure that was to be maintained, with minor changes, for more than a decade: Shin Mem 1 - combat intelligence, attached to front-line units to collect and interpret intelligence on the Arab armies, supply topographical data and analyse aerial photographs.