Daily Israel Report

Mofaz: Israel Should Have Eliminated Mashaal

"Israel missed an opportunity to eliminate the head of the serpent," says Kadima chairman about Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/9/2012, 6:16 AM

Shaul Mofaz
Shaul Mofaz
Flash 90

Israel should have taken advantage of Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal’s visit to Gaza and eliminated him, Kadima chairman MK Shaul Mofaz said on Saturday.

"Israel missed an opportunity to eliminate the head of the serpent. I would recommend that Mashaal to pack his bags and leave Gaza as soon as possible,” said Mofaz.

“We stopped the operation in Gaza too early,” he added, referring to the IDF’s Operation of Pillar of Defense which targeted Hamas’s terror infrastructure in Gaza. “Mashaal’s visit to Gaza is the result of the political failure of Operation Pillar of Defense. Netanyahu and Lieberman gave their consent to Mashaal’s visit to Gaza. Hamas now raises its head and we need to put it back down.”

Mofaz noted, "If Israel continues to weaken Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and avoids dealing harshly with Hamas, in a few years we’ll see Mashaal visiting Judea and Samaria. We must not allow such a reality. Israel knows how to defeat terrorism. Khaled Mashaal is a target for killing along with all of Hamas’s leaders.”

Mashaal, on his first ever visit to Gaza, said on Saturday that Hamas would not cede "an inch of Palestinian territory” to Israel or recognize the Jewish State.

“Palestine is our land and nation from the (Mediterranean) sea to the (Jordan) river, from north to south, and we cannot cede an inch or any part of it," he said in a speech marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of the terror group.

"Resistance is the right way to recover our rights, as well as all forms of struggle -- political, diplomatic, legal and popular, but all are senseless without resistance," added Mashaal.

As he arrived in Gaza on Friday, Mashaal told crowds he hoped his next visit would be to “Jerusalem, Ramallah and a liberated Palestine.”

He said his visit to Gaza was his "third birth", referring to an assassination attempt by Israeli Mossad agents in 1997 as his previous "re-birth."

"I pray to God that my fourth birth will come the day we liberate Palestine," Mashaal said. "Today is Gaza. Tomorrow will be Ramallah and after that Jerusalem then Haifa and Jaffa.”

In an interview he gave to CNN several weeks ago, Mashaal claimed that Hamas would accept a Palestinian state along the indefensible pre-1967 borders but would refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist.