Reports are beginning to find their way into Israel’s media about what News1 ironically calls Meir Dagan’s “targeted killing” of an external investigation into a Mossad “incident” that occurred this year. The fact that the article uses the specific term targeted killing and notes that the incident was a “sensitive case” cries out for association with the Mossad’s most significant such assassination this past year, Mahmoud al-Mabouh.
The report further states that Dagan intervened to kill the investigation of which he was to be the star witness. It also notes that the case is connected to the decision to relieve Dagan of his duties. This would indicate to me that P.M. Netanyahu may’ve used the threat of investigation to secure Dagan’s resignation.
Maariv’s version of this story concludes with this strange non sequitur which appears to have nothing to do with the rest of the report:
According to foreign publications, the Mossad was responsible for the assassination of senior Hamas operative, Mahmoud al-Mabouh in Dubai.
A nod is as good as wink when you read such mysterious passages in Israeli security-related stories. Or as they say in Hebrew: ha-mayvin yavin (roughly translated: “he who knows knows”).
A confidential Israeli source confirms that the investigation was to be led by the Knesset foreign affairs and defense committee and that the subject was to be the al-Mabouh assassination. I have to say that in my many years of following Israeli politics I’ve never heard of a Knesset investigation of such a Mossad hit. Unless I’m mistaken, this would’ve been unprecedented, as even if it were conducted in private it would threaten to expose lots of potentially dirty laundry–one of the dirtiest secrets spilled would be confirming that Israel did the hit. Which is why part of me believes it might’ve been a way of pressuring Dagan to step down without having to fire him and all the messiness that might’ve ensued.
UPDATE: There was one such previous investigation–of the Khaled Meshal failed hit. What the two incidents have in common is that in both cases a Mossad assassination caused huge furor in the world community and jeopardized relations with key allies.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.