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Near-Unanimous Approval for Hitting Jaabari

Support for the assassination of Hamas terrorist Ahmed Jaabari crosses most party lines.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 11/15/2012, 2:15 AM

PM Binyamin Netanyahu
PM Binyamin Netanyahu
Israel news photo: Flash 90

MKs from the right and left expressed support Tuesday for the assassination of Ahmed Jaabari, the head of Hamas’s military wing in Gaza. In addition to immediate support from Yisrael Beytenu and Ichud Leumi (National Union), the government was bolstered by Kadima, Labor, and former political opponents on the left.

“Ahmed Jaabari was an arch-terrorist, the most extreme of Hamas members with the blood of many Israelis on his hands,” said Labor head MK Shelly Yechimovich. “So after ceaseless fire on residents of the south, targeting him was justified.”

Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid termed the assassination “justified beyond comparison,” adding, “There is no country on earth that can agree, or remain silent in face of, continuous rocket fire on its citizens.”

Tzipi Livni, formerly the head of the Opposition, praised the strike as well. “This was the head of a terrorist organization, a mass murderer, who was responsible for the murder of Israeli citizens. He has been in Israel’s crosshairs for years.”

However, she said, “One thing is missing: the IDF’s ability to act not only in terms of intelligence and soldiers’ training, but with the cloak of international legitimacy… The solution is to incorporate the world in Israel’s counter-terror efforts while at the same time holding a dialog with the pragmatic group in order to reach an agreement.”

Within Likud, Netanyahu enjoyed unanimous support. “Renewing the policy of assassinations was an important, and correct, decision on the Prime Minister’s part,” said MK Tzipi Hotovely. “The heads of Hamas are the ones to pay the price for hurting citizens of Israel and the IDF.”

MK Danny Danon (Likud) referred to the strike as “a warning shot for Haniyeh.” The IDF “is hitting the heads of the Hamas snake, and Haniyeh is a fair target,” he said. “We must strive to topple the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza and to take out whoever dared to hurt Israeli citizens.”

A voice of dissent came from the Hadash communist party. MK Dov Henin, head of Hadash, strongly condemned the assassination.

“The Netanyahu administration insists on not learning from experience,” he said. “Assassinating leaders is never a solution. Leaders were assassinated in the past, and others came to replace them, and in the meantime a new round of blood and fire just began.”

He called for “serious negotiations” with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, alongside “a genuine, two-sided ceasefire agreement in the south.”