Former Mossad Agent: Netanyahu Ordered Hit on Hamas Leader
Israel's former right-wing prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally ordered a botched assassination attempt by the Mossad secret service against a top Hamas leader in Jordan, a former agent said in a newspaper interview Thursday.
Haaretz said Moshe Ben David, a senior operative for the Mossad, who was one of the people in charge of the failed assassination attempt of Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal in Jordan in September 1997, and the man who presented the plan to the Israeli political leadership said that hardline former premier insisted on the hit following a suicide attack by Hamas in Israel.
"I did not understand then and I do not understand now what he wanted to get out of the hit," said Ben David, who was code-named "Caesarea" until his retirement a few months ago.
Danny Yatom, now Barak's security advisor, resigned as Mossad chief after a three-member Israeli commission of inquiry held him responsible for the bungled attempt on Meshaal's life.
The attack soured ties between Israel and Jordan, which had been the Jewish state's closest Arab ally after signing a peace treaty in 1994.
The two Mossad agents who carried out the failed operation were arrested in Jordan shortly after the attack but were released in exchange for dozens of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, including Hamas founder and spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
Jordan closed Hamas's Amman offices last August, expelling Meshal and several other officials – (Several Sources)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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