Netanyahu 'Nixed' Idea of Assassinating Hamas Leaders
Finance Minister Yair Lapid suggested, in a session of the Diplomacy-Security Cabinet, that Israel eliminate the heads of Hamas, reported Yisrael Hayom.
According to the newspaper, Lapid said that the IDF should “take down the heads of Hamas,” including Hamas-Gaza chief Ismail Haniyeh and the head of the organization's political bureau, Khaled Meshaal.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Chairman of Yisrael Beytenu) and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett (Chairman of Jewish Home) supported the idea.
The prime minister opposed it.
It was decided instead to bomb the homes of the Hamas leaders even though it is known that they are not residing in them.
Diplomatic sources explained that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants to behave in a more “measured” way, “in order to give Israel international maneuvering room.”
Netanyahu ordered the elimination of Meshaal by poison in Jordan in September, 1997, but the assassination bid failed. Jordanian security forces arrested two of the Israeli agents involved and the Mossad team found itself trapped in Amman. Israel ended up supplying an antidote to the poison that was killing Meshaal and freeing 70 jailed terrorists, including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas.
The heads of Hamas in Gaza are reported to be hiding out under the Shifa Hospital, true to the organization's tactic of using women, children, the aged and the infirm as human shields.