Abstract

Israeli narratives of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War highlight the army’s lack of preparedness in the wake of a successful surprise attack by Egypt and Syria on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, despite assumptions of Israel’s intelligence gathering capabilities. Using recently declassified government documents, this article reveals a communication breakdown among Israel’s leadership over the operational status of a top secret means of surveillance. This intelligence failure provides the missing link between Israel’s wealth of information and the decision to avoid mobilizing the country’s reserve army until it was too late.

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