In an intelligence initiative that began eight months ago, senior Israeli security officials assembled teams of Shin Bet and military intelligence operatives along with Air Force officials who closely studied every move of Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders (PIJ) in the Gaza Strip, Channel 12 News reported on Sunday morning.
According to a source quoted by the report, the team members became so familiar with the lives of the PIJ commanders that they knew them “even better than their spouses.” They knew their schedules – what time they ate, prayed, and went to sleep – their families, friends and associates, their vehicles, and of course, their terror activities.
Three other types of intelligence were also used to track the commanders: visual intelligence in the form of drones that tracked the commanders at all times; SIGINT – signals intelligence using advanced cyber capabilities such as spy malware; and human intelligence, i.e. spies in the Gaza Strip.
Following the elimination of three senior Islamic Jihad commanders in the opening airstrikes of Operation Shield and Arrow, the intelligence teams continued to track the remaining senior leaders in the Strip, enabling the elimination of three more commanders during the five-day operation, one within hours of his appointment.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)