Israel orders killing of Hamas
By Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv
Times" -- - IN A desperate attempt to stop the
barrage of rockets fired by Hamas at Israeli villages, Ehud
Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, has ordered his security
chiefs to target the Islamic movement’s political
According to Israeli security sources, a decision to
assassinate leading Hamas politicians was taken by Olmert
and his defence minister, Amir Peretz. Early yesterday
Israeli missiles struck Hamas targets in Gaza, including a
charity run by the group.
Since withdrawing from Gaza more than a year ago, Israel has
targeted Hamas’s military activists, but that has not
stopped the rockets. Outraged by an attack last Wednesday on
the village of Sderot, Israel is determined to ensure the
political leadership in Gaza, the West Bank and abroad will
“no longer escape responsibility”.
The controversial change in tactics has been driven by
Peretz, who broke down in tears when one of his bodyguards
was badly injured in Sderot, his home village. The army has
been battling against Palestinian rocket units in northern
Gaza for months and has intensified its operations there in
recent weeks. Since the beginning of this month, 98
Palestinians have been killed.
“The Gaza Strip is about to turn into the biggest terrorist
compound on earth,” Yuval Diskin, the head of the Israeli
internal security service, warned a parliamentary committee
last week. “We have no choice but to consider a massive
military operation there.”
Yesterday, deputy prime minister Avigdor Lieberman called
for the assassination of Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders.
"They have to disappear, go to paradise, all of them," he
Copyright 2006 Times Newspapers Ltd.