Daily Israel Report

Hamas Political Leaders Granted Immunity by Security Cabinet

The Security Cabinet on Wednesday decided to step-up targeted precision strikes against Gaza-based terrorists.
By Yechiel Spira
First Publish: 11/23/2006, 1:02 PM / Last Update: 11/23/2006, 5:06 AM

Despite the move, the cabinet accepted the opinion of GSS (General Security Service/ Shin Bet) director Yuval Diskin, that political figures such as Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah should be granted immunity. They will not be targeted by the military in the ongoing war on terror, placing an emphasis on halting rocket attacks into the Sderot and western Negev areas.

Diskin told members of the National Security Cabinet that targeting PA (Palestinian Authority) elected officials would not advance Israel’s agenda, stating it did not do so in the past and the same holds true today.

The members of the security forum did agree to give a green light to the IDF and other agencies to strike out against terrorists known to be involved in the firing of rockets and other acts of terror.

Once again the ministers released a stern message to the PA, that if the rocket attacks continue, war will follow. Similar messages have been heard during recent weeks and months, but for now, the rocket continue to pound the Gaza seamline communities.

For residents of areas being targeted in Kassam attacks, the decision by ministers has yet to produce any change in the situation. They are accusing the national government of abandoning them, angered by the lack of response to daily rocket attacks into pre-1967 Green Line Israel.

IDF commanders are calling for a major operation intended to clean out Beit Hanoun and other northern areas of Gaza of terrorists and weapons and to distance the rocket launchers from southern Israeli communities.

Military officers and intelligence community officials warn terrorists are working in earnest to continue improving the rockets, which now have an extended range and seemingly more accuracy, striking out at Sderot with a modicum of consistency.

In Sderot, life has come to a halt and students remain home rather than attending classes. Thousands of children are in need of psychological care for the day-to-day trauma endured by the relentless firing of rockets into their communities.