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IDF Eliminates Hamas Finance and 'Justice' Head

Another senior Hamas leader assassinated in airstrike, after three or four others taken out last week.
By Kobi Finkler, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 8/24/2014, 4:51 PM

Car hit by airstrike in Gaza (illustration)
Car hit by airstrike in Gaza (illustration)
Reuters

The IDF on Sunday assassinated another Hamas leader, Mohammed al-Ghoul, who was responsible for transferring funds to the terrorist organization and was the "Justice Minister" in the Hamas government.

The pinpoint airstrike in northern Gaza took out al-Ghoul, confirmed the IDF. Palestinian Arab reports have confirmed the appraisal, saying al-Ghoul was killed in an airstrike on his car.

In pictures circulating in the Arab reports of al-Ghoul's ruined car the Hamas leader's body can clearly be seen. Likewise, numerous wads of US dollars can be seen inside the burning car, money that presumably was on its way to fund terror attacks.

IDF spokesperson Major Arye Shalicar told AFP that al-Ghoul "was an important Hamas actor who dealt with transferring funds to build terror infrastructure in Gaza, such as tunnels, and was a key target."

Al-Ghoul was the contact person for the 2009 Goldstone report which accused Israel of "war crimes" in Operation Cast Lead, before Judge Richard Goldstone later retracted that core accusation of the report.

The assassination follows several similar targeted strikes.

Last Wednesday night three senior Hamas "military wing" Al-Qassam Brigades leaders were eliminated in an airstrike; the three were Mohammed Abu Shamalah, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhum.

That strike followed another on Tuesday night which targeted Al-Qassam Brigades chief Mohammed Deif, whose wife and two children were taken out in the attack. There are conflicting reports as to whether Deif was killed in the strike or survived.

The assassination comes after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared earlier on Sunday "we've shown in the last several days that there will be no immunity for those who shoot at the people of Israel."

"Hamas is paying, and will continue to pay, a heavy price for the crimes it carries out," Netanyahu said. "I call on residents of Gaza to immediately leave any structure from which Hamas carries out terror activity against us. All such sites are a target for us."

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon likewise spoke about the precision strikes, saying "we take advantage of every intelligence and operational opportunity to harm terrorists and their commanders, even when they are in hide-outs and surround themselves with women and children. We know how to get to them."