Back in mid-July, Efraim Halevy, the former head of Israel’s Mossad (short for HaMossad le Modi in ule Tafkidim Meyu adim, or “Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations”) participated in a radio interview on National Public Radio. The topic of the talk was the infamous nuclear deal with Iran that has been making the news and causing such a stir.

What made this interview unique—and disturbing for some in the Israeli government—was that for the first time in the media, a high-ranking (albeit former) official has shown support for the deal. But given Israel’s historical tendency to not give a damn about world opinion and to use any means at its disposal, including the alleged use of targeted killings, to protect the nation, might they opt to use the “extreme option” to outmaneuver the Iran nuclear deal?

The Israeli government, although historically quite vocal in its pledge to defend its citizens by any means necessary, has been secretive about what those means are. One of the rumored methods that has long endured is the use of targeted killings—assassinations—to both thwart nefarious plots and to mete justice to those who have kidnapped, maimed, or killed Israeli citizens. If the allegations are true, Israel took the gloves off a long time ag0, and what is underneath those gloves hits hard, fast, and invisibly.