Retired IDF Brigadier-General Yechiam Sasson, the former head of the IDF's counter-terrorism division, said on Thursday that the IDF’s return to targeted killings of terrorists is a “very correct decision.”
Speaking to Arutz7 a day after the IDF and the ISA killed 27-year-old terrorist Mohammed Jamal a-Nahmnam in Gaza, Sasson said: “[Targeted killing] is the correct method to work with, because as long as there are no valid and updated agreements with Hamas, and as long as Gilad Shalit is being held captive, it is the correct thing to do to continue to harm them. Their political leaders as well as their military leaders should be targeted. We cannot rely on a truce or cease-fire agreement; the IDF must continue to act all the time.”
A-Nahmnam, a senior Al-Qaeda terrorist, was killed by a car bomb near the Hamas police station in Gaza City. He was involved in past terrorist attacks on Israel, and was plotting attacks against Israel and American targets in Sinai, Egypt, in coordination with Hamas.
A-Nahmnam belonged to the Army of Islam, one of several small Gaza terrorist groups which are affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Then Army of Islam also took part in an attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing in June of 2006 in which IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped.
Sasson said that a ceasefire with Hamas is nothing but an illusion. “All these temporary agreements are ultimately a a stopgap measure made with those who have a murderous interest in the terrorist market. We do not gain anything from it, aside from the fact that terrorist organizations use the lull to continue to equip and strengthen themselves in order to come stronger and better prepared for the next military campaign.”
Sasson believes that targeted killings are an effective deterrent, but added that Israel should try to make sure that it does not hurt those who need not be hurt. He did not rule out future military operations with objectives beyond targeted killings. “I assume that the enemy knows well that the IDF could reach it. Right now we do not engage in military operations. I believe our strength now is more in the field of targeted killings, but the option of taking over land is an option which still exists.”