Barak Not Denying Israel Wanted to Kill Haniyeh

Defense Minister won't deny reports that Israel was about to kill Hamas leader in Gaza when Egypt intervened.

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Gil Ronen,

Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Flash 90

Defense Minister Ehud Barak would not deny Sunday reports that Israel intended to assassinate Hamas's Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh. According to the reports, only Egypt's intervention with Israel prevented the attack.

When asked by Voice of Israel Radio Yaron Dekel about the report, Barak said that "not everything that is written in the newspaper is true."

Dekel asked if this meant the report was false. "I would not say that," Barak replied.

When asked about the possibility that the IDF would retake Gaza, Barak would not offer a definite "no" but made it clear that the option was not a favored one.

"People eulogize Israel's security deterrent, I heard senior analysts saying that 'the key is in Hamas's hands.' But I want to remind everyone that the key to the next terror attack is always in the hands of the terrorist and not in our hands," he said. "We are defenders. We always act after the fact. There will always be someone to second guess us and say – if you had only done this and this, everything would have turned out differently," Barak added.

"We were in Gaza for forty years and anyone who misses this period should come out and say so," Barak attacked his critics. On the other hand, he said: "Don’t misunderstand me. If we are forced to do so – I have no longing for ruling over Gaza again, but if we are forced to do so, we will stop at nothing, nothing."