Another pioneering contribution from Israeli counter-terrorism experts.
After signing the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993, Palestinian leadership under Yasser Arafat promised an end to their terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. In exchange, Arafat was granted a significant degree of autonomous rule in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, which would serve as the prototype for a future Palestinian Arab state living alongside Israel.
Yet what followed was years of Palestinian terrorist attacks despite the Oslo Accords, including such gruesome methods as shootings, stabbings against Israeli civilians, and suicide bombing attacks as the Sbarro Restaurant Massacre, in which 15 civilians were killed, among them 7 children and a pregnant woman. Over one thousand Israelis were murdered during the Second Intifada, while thousands more were injured.
Israel responded with military force, though it would not be enough to stop the ongoing terror. What needed to be done was to stop the flow of money that financed Palestinian terror networks. Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and Samuel M. Katz tell the story of how Meir Dagan, who was appointed head of Israel’s Mossad, created “Harpoon,” a task force that coordinated efforts to end the funding of terrorism. In doing so, the State of Israel taught the world that in order to effectively undermine terrorists, you had to hit it where it hurt. Their wallets.
In detailing the extraordinary life of Dagan and key figures who made up his team of spies and commandos, Harpoon reads like a fast-paced thriller novel. However, this does not take away from the book’s value as a serious work in the history of counter-terrorism.