May 9, 2022
Hamas’s senior political leader Ismail Haniyeh, right, and his deputy Saleh Arouri in 2018. (Mohammad Austaz/Hamas Media Office via AP)
Israel is said to have notified foreign allies it is preparing to hit senior Hamas figures in Lebanon, Qatar and other countries.
By David Hellerman, World Israel News
As a wave of Palestinian terror attacks continue, Israel is said to have notified foreign allies it is readying plans to assassinate Hamas leaders living abroad, the Times of London reported on Monday.
The report quoted sources in the intelligence community saying that “a clear message” needs to be sent to Hamas.
According to the Times, instead of carrying out targeted assassinations against Hamas leaders in Gaza, Israel would instead strike against terror personalities living in places such as Lebanon and Qatar.
Mideast media reports say that Turkey has moved to expel Hamas figures operating on its soil as Ankara tries to draw closer to Israel.
Among the senior Hamas officials identified by name as potential targets were Saleh al-Arouri and Zaher Jabarin.
Arouri commands Hamas terror operations in Judea and Samaria while reportedly dividing his time between Lebanon, Qatar and Turkey. He masterminded the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in 2014 which escalated into Operation Protective Edge.
Zabarin is responsible for the terror organization’s finances.
A number of Palestinian terror figures have been killed abroad in what have been described as Mossad assassinations. The most recent ones include:
• Fadi Mohammed al-Batsh, an electrical engineer who reportedly helped design Hamas rockets: gunned down in Malaysia in 2018.
• Mohammed al-Zoari, an engineer who was a key figure in Hamas’s drone program: killed in Tunisia in 2016.
• Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who procured weapons for Hamas: killed in Dubai in 2010.
Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have vowed to resume missile attacks and suicide bombings if Israel renews targeted assassinations on Gaza terror leaders.
In an incendiary speech on April 30, Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar called for a regional war if Israel, he claimed, threatened the status quo on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
In the past seven weeks, 19 Israelis have been killed in terror attacks.
In the most recent attack, four Palestinians tried to infiltrate the Jewish community of Tekoa, south of Jerusalem on Sunday evening. One Palestinian was shot and killed, the other three escaped.
Also on Sunday, an Israeli Border Police officer was stabbed and moderately wounded by a Palestinian in Jerusalem by the Old City’s Damascus Gate.