TEL AVIV - Israel's top military commander sat on the edge of his bed, talking on the phone, rubbing his forehead. The bedroom door was closed, muffling the Saturday clink and giggle of his children at lunch. His chief of operations was on the gray, secure phone, the line that rang louder and sharper and made his heart beat fast.
The report came from the war room: The bomb was falling.
Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon stared at the tiles on his floor, working out two plans: 1) If they die. 2) If they don't. The bomb -- the one he'd been arguing over and deliberating all day -- was plunging 10,000 feet from an Israeli F-16 toward a Palestinian house in the Gaza Strip, where guests sat, eating rice and boiled chicken. Yaalon was hoping, he recalled in an interview, that it would be their last lunch. With targeted killings, it was rarely that simple.