Former Mossad chief Zvi Zamir passed away at the age of 98 on January 2, 2024. He led the foreign intelligence service during the Yom Kippur War and directed Mossad operations against Palestinian militants after 11 Israeli Olympic team members were killed at the 1972 Games in Munich.

Zvicka Zarzevsky was born in 1925 in the Polish city of Lodz. His family came to Israel when he was a baby. At 18, he joined the Palmach, the elite fighting force of the Haganah, and participated in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

The peak of his military career included positions as the commander of the Southern Military District and military attaché in London. In 1966, Zamir retired and took over the Mossad. He led the retaliation operation against the terrorists responsible for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Summer Olympics in Munich.

In 1973, there was intense debate within the Israeli defense establishment about the likelihood of a new war. Zamir argued that it should be expected soon, while Eli Zeira, director of Israel's military intelligence Aman, claimed there were no signs of it, disregarding evidence to the contrary.

The exact timing of the attack – 2:00 PM on October 6 – was reported to Zamir by one of Israel’s most valuable agents, Ashraf Marwan, the son-in-law of former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. However, the meeting with him occurred on the night of October 5, less than a day before the Egyptians crossed the Suez Canal.

Israel’s failures on the eve of the war were investigated by the Agranat Commission. It identified Zeira as one of the main individuals responsible for Israel’s unreadiness. However, over the following decades, he maintained that he drew conclusions based on the information available to him, and Marwan was a double agent.