Why is the Delay in Eliminating Hamas Leaders Abroad?

The elimination of Hamas leaders abroad is deemed essential to impede the organization's resurgence in the Gaza Strip and sever its ties with Iran. However, this process faces delays due to various security concerns. Nonetheless, Israel remains resolute in its commitment to complete this task.

Israel is currently engaged in a pursuit of Hamas military leaders, particularly Yahya Sinwar and Muhammad Def, in the extensive tunnel network of the Khan Yunis area.

Despite significant intelligence efforts to pinpoint their whereabouts, the leaders constantly change locations within the labyrinthine tunnels spanning approximately 160 kilometers, complicating IDF’s progress on the ground.

While pressure mounts on Hamas leadership in Gaza, recent statements from senior Hamas official Razi Hamed in foreign media indicate even more extreme positions regarding potential abductee deals and threats of further attacks on Israelis, underscoring the urgency of addressing the leadership abroad.

Israel’s most recent targeted assassination abroad was of Saleh al-Arouri, deputy to Ismail Haniyeh, on January 2 in Beirut’s A-Dahiya neighborhood, along with several other Hamas operatives, in an Israeli Air Force strike.

To effectively dismantle Hamas’s infrastructure, Israel must systematically eliminate both local and foreign leadership.

The overseas leadership, which orchestrates terrorist activities and facilitates financial support from Iran, poses a significant threat.

Disrupting the flow of funds from abroad is vital to preventing Hamas’s resurgence in Gaza and bolstering its presence in Judea and Samaria.

Israel should also mobilize the international community to pursue Hamas leaders abroad, leveraging diplomatic channels and, if necessary, targeted assassinations.

According to informed sources, top priorities include targeting Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and his successor, Zaher Al-Jabarin, who oversee ties with Iran and are lobbying for increased military pressure on Israel.

Under Prime Minister Netanyahu’s directives, the Israeli Mossad, led by David Barnea, is preparing a list of senior Hamas political leaders for elimination abroad.

Netanyahu, Defense Minister Galant, and Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar have all publicly pledged to eliminate Hamas leadership abroad.

Delays in eliminating Hamas leaders abroad can be attributed to several factors:

  • Intense focus on locating Hamas military leadership and Israeli abductees in Gaza.
  • Heightened security measures protecting Hamas leaders abroad.
  • Vigilant surveillance by Turkish, Lebanese, and Qatari intelligence services safeguarding Hamas leaders in their respective territories.
  • Completion of intelligence gathering on the movements and hideouts of Hamas leaders abroad.

Although Hamas leaders abroad may attempt to evade capture by living luxuriously and conducting global business, the Mossad’s proven operational capabilities and extended reach underscore the importance of prioritizing their elimination.

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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