The time has come to renew the targeted killings 

The terrorist attack by the axis of evil led by Iran against Israel leaves it no choice and it must renew the policy of targeted killings against the leaders of Hamas. Such an Israeli move will only strengthen the deterrence, the Israeli message should be clear that none of the leaders of Hamas has immunity.




The Hamas organization continues to hold the stick from both ends, on the one hand it maintains a relative calm in the Gaza Strip accompanied by the firing of individual rockets, from time to time, and on the other hand it continues to receive economic and humanitarian benefits from Israel, thousands of workers from the Gaza Strip go to work in Israel every day and the Qatari financial grant totaling 30 million dollars enters the Gaza Strip every month on a regular basis. 

However, Hamas continues to recruit Palestinians into its ranks, from East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Western Israel, to carry out terror attacks and towards the month of Ramadan, it has tightened its cooperation with the axis of evil led by Iran to fire rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon. 

The Israeli government can no longer allow Hamas to enjoy all the worlds, the time has come to put an end to this game of Hamas, Israel is not interested in an extensive military battle in the Gaza Strip, but it can and must restore its worn-out deterrence against Hamas. 

The measure that deters the leaders of Hamas the most is targeted killings, Israel assassinated Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas, and the top of his organization in 2004, however, Since the end of the war in Gaza Strip in 2014, Israel has stopped the targeted assassinations of terrorist leaders in the Gaza Strip as part of the ceasefire agreement, during the military operation against the Islamic Jihad organization in the Gaza Strip last year, Israel killed two senior commanders of the military wing of the Jihad Islamic, however, the question being asked is whether today, in view of the war of attrition that Hamas launched against Israel during the month of Ramadan, the time has not come to renew the policy of targeted killings. 

The answer is yes, the leaders of Hamas abroad, such as the leader of the organization Ismail Haniyeh and his deputy Saleh Al-Arouri, should be dealt with by the Israeli Mossad, these are operations that require lengthy preparation and accurate intelligence, however, according to senior intelligence sources, the leaders of Hamas in the Gaza Strip such as Yahya Sinwar, Muhammad Def And his deputy, Marwan Issa, can be assassinated much more quickly because the Israeli intelligence has available and accurate information about them on a regular basis. What is required is a decision by the political echelon. 

Former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened before taking office to assassinate Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh within 48 hours if the 4 Israeli prisoners held in the Gaza Strip were not returned, but nothing happened, they are still held by Hamas and Ismail Haniyeh is alive and breathing and continues to act against Israel. 

The statements and threats of Israel’s leaders to Hamas leaders in the media are unnecessary, as are the warnings that Israel conveys through the various mediators to the Hamas leadership that it will renew the policy of targeted killings. 

Israel must renew the policy of targeted killings and keep it active all the time as a sword over the heads of Hamas leaders, such a move will limit their movements, they will have to allocate resources to maintain their personal security and this will also weaken them in front of the public that supports them.   

Such an Israeli move will only strengthen the deterrence, the Israeli message should be clear that none of the leaders of Hamas has immunity. 

Hamas officials threaten that if senior Hamas officials such as Ismail Haniyeh, Yihya Sinwar, Marwan Issa, Ruhi Mushtaha and others are assassinated, Hamas will respond with a rocket attack deep into Israel’s territory. 

Such a scenario is certainly to be expected, but Hamas, in coordination with Iran is already waging a war of attrition against Israel, it has a lot to lose in the Gaza Strip which is still recovering from the latest military operations by the IDF and must take into account Gazan public opinion. 

 What is important is that the leaders of Hamas know that Israel has not given up this weapon and is not reluctant to use it, this message has a great psychological effect on the terrorist leaders, at the end of the day they do not want to become “martyrs” in heaven. 

A senior security official says that Israel must give priority to the assassination of senior Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri. 

He is the main figure who is triggering the current wave of violence in East Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the rocket fire from southern Lebanon by virtue of being the deputy head of the political bureau of Hamas, the head of the military wing of Hamas in the West Bank and the organization’s contact person to Iran and Hezbollah. 

Saleh al-Arouri has a great motivation to act against Israel also because he strives to succeed Ismail Haniyeh as the head of the political bureau of Hamas.   

Senior officials in Israel, including Major General Eitan Dangot, former coordinator of operations in the territories, previously called for the assassination of Saleh Al-Arouri, who is considered a ticking bomb that is constantly planning to carry out attacks against Israel, but nothing happened. 

The ball is now in the court of the right-wing government in Israel, which is facing a new and complex security reality and must use all the tools at its disposal for the war against the terrorism of Hamas and Iran.  

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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