The declassified document also reveals that then-Mossad Chief Zvi Zamir warned the prime minister of an imminent attack by Syrian and Egyptian forces on what indeed turned out to be the first day of the Yom Kippur War.
A cable sent by Israel’s former spy chief to Prime Minister Golda Meir has been declassified and published by the state archives, shedding light on the Israeli government’s efforts to avert outright war with the Arab world in 1973.
Published on Monday to commemorate the clash’s 45th anniversary, the cable reveals that Zamir received intel from a high-ranking Egyptian source about the planned invasion, suggesting they should release their intel to the media for dissemination to scare off the enemy.
“According to the source, we may be able to thwart the launch of a war by publishing an item about it on the radio and in the press, which would prove to Egypt, including the military command, that the Israelis are aware of the arrangement and ready for it,” the message sent via cablegram on October 6, 1973 reads.
“The head of the Mossad proposed to consider publication by news agencies in Israel…According to the source, this would believe an influence in Egypt.”
The tip-off from the source, who said he was 99 percent sure that the attack would commence on October 6, contradicted with Israel’s previous assessment, which found there to be a “low possibility” of a largescale war between Tel Aviv and the Arab world.
In addition to alerting then-PM Golda Meir of the upcoming assault, the cable also reveals that other high-ranking Israeli officials, including senior Mossad personnel, were warned about the war just hours before the first bombs fell.
Despite suffering early defeats the Sinai Desert and Golan Heights, the IDF was ultimately able to repel the advancing forces and recover all lost ground while also inflicting major losses on Syria and Egypt’s military capabilities.
Egypt and Israel later struck a deal in which Cairo recognized the state of Israel in return for the handing back of parts of the Sinai desert.
On the Syrian side, although Damascus held extensive talks with Israel prior to the ongoing clash, negotiators weren’t able to reach a deal, so the Golan Heights is still occupied, and the Syrian government remains hostile to Israel.