Gibli, Lavon Affair architect, dies


Binyamin Gibli, the head of Israeli Military Intelligence during the Lavon Affair, has died.


Gibli, 89, was the architect of the failed 1954 operation which put Israel at the center of an international scandal. The operation was designed to make Western governments pull back from normalizing relations with Egypt, by having operatives attack Western targets in Egypt.


Egyptian intelligence discovered the operation after two botched operations. Two Jewish operatives were hanged, one committed suicide and another died during interrogation.


Gibli resigned when the operation became public. He remained in the Israel Defense Forces and went on to command the Givati Brigade during the 1956 Sinai War. Still, then-Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion refused to promote Gibli to major general because of his involvement in the Lavon Affair.


Gibli maintained until his death that he did not give the order to launch the operation, though many believe he acted alone.

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