Daily Israel Report

Did Hamas Infighting Enable IDF to Eliminate Jaabari?

Top Hamas terrorist Ahmed Jaabari may have been a victim of Hamas infighting, a report in a Gulf newspaper said
By David Lev
First Publish: 11/26/2012, 5:14 PM

IDF satellite photo of attack on Jaabari convoy
IDF satellite photo of attack on Jaabari convoy
IDF spokesperson

Top Hamas terrorist Ahmed Jaabari may have been a victim of Hamas infighting, Israeli sources said, based on a report in a Kuwaiti newspaper Monday. According to a report in Al-Jarida, distributed throughout the Gulf countries, Israel was able to eliminate Jaabari after zeroing in on his location via his cell-phone – even though the target was supposed to be top Hamas terrorist Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the Hamas government in Gaza.

The paper reported that Haniyeh and Jaabari, commander of Hamas's "military" terror wing, had been at odds of late. Jaabari, according to the report, conducted a search of Haniyeh's house, apparently under orders from Hamas top terrorist Khaled Mashaal, in hiding in Damascus. Haniyeh objected, but Jaabari went ahead with the search anyway. Senior Hamas terrorists were involved in the schism, with some taking Haniyeh's side, and some taking Jaabari's, the report said.

Meanwhile, Israel had been planning a strike on Haniyeh, the report said, and was using cellphone detection technology to find him. Generally, top Hamas terrorists disable location chips in their cell-phones so that Israel cannot use the devices to track them down, but Israel is using new technology to find terrorists even when their location chips are inactive.

Apparently, though, Jaabari's phone had its chip activated, enabling the IDF to track him and eliminate him. Although the report did not speculate that Jaabari may have been set up by Haniyeh in revenge for search his house, Israeli sources said that it was “certainly possible,” since Hamas is well-known for its infighting. Jaabari's elimination was Israel's opening salvo in the eight-day Operation Pillar of Defense, which came after years of rocket fire by Hamas terrorists - much of it directed by Jaabari - on southern Israel.