By: TOI Staff
The former deputy head of the Mossad Ehud Lavi said Sunday that he believed it was unlikely that Iran did not know in advance of the devastating assault on October 7 perpetrated by the Tehran-backed terror group Hamas.
“That such a significant, reality-changing event, like the attack on October 7, would happen without the Iranians knowing? That sounds unrealistic to me,” said Lavi, who led the Mossad’s daring operation to obtain Iran’s secret nuclear archive, which was revealed in 2018.
The former spy official told Channel 12 in his first public interview that “the top goal [of the war] should be the return of the hostages,” and that he trusted the professionals involved in the operation.
“I am not aware of what is happening behind the scenes, but I know that the intelligence, experience and hearts of the professionals involved are in the right place,” Lavi said. “However, at the end of the day, a decision like that is a political one, and always has been. The political echelon has to make this very tough decision.”
“They have to decide what to give up on, what price can be paid, and when to stop,” Lavi said. “I trust the prime minister, the defense minister and Minister Benny Gantz [who make up the war cabinet] to make the decisions, but they have a lot of considerations… We will be required to make concessions.”
Lavi, who was second in command at the spy agency until two years ago, said he believed Mossad head David Barnea, who is managing negotiations with Qatar for the potential release of hostages, is working “between the instructions he received, and the best deal he can get.”
“Barnea is an excellent professional who is also attentive to the political leadership. The central and top consideration should be the return of the abductees, even at the expense of other things,” Lavi said.
When asked about the apparent tension between ex-Mossad chief Yossi Cohen and Barnea, with the former’s involvement in hostage negotiations, Lavi said hPost too long. Click here to view the full text.