Israel determined to kill all Hamas leaders as army chief says Arafat, Nasrallah are next
A senior Israeli security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday, Israel will try to kill the entire Hamas leadership, striking whenever an opportunity presents itself.
The decision was made secretly by the Israeli cabinet last week, in response to a recent double suicide bombing at the Ashdod seaport, The AP cited the official as saying.
Moreover, Israel's Interior Security Minister Tzachi HaNegbi told Israel Radio, "We have switched from defense to offense and in this battle all the members of the Hamas leadership are legitimate targets."
"The days of the terrorist chiefs and commanders who will not spend all their time trying to survive and still prepare attacks are numbered," the minister added.
Meanwhile, Israel's Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Moshe (Bugi) Ya'alon Tuesday defended Monday's assassination of Hamas leader, Sheikh Yassin, claiming Yassin was directly responsible for "terror attacks".
"Yassin was neither, and I should like to stress it, was neither a political nor a religious leader," said Ya'alon.
"Ahmed Yassin was a terrorist who headed a terrorist organization which operates against the State of Israel and its citizens. Yassin was directly responsible for multiple terror attacks, resulting in the deaths of both Israeli and foreign civilians and security personnel."
In addition, Ya'alon, accoridng to Army Radio, said the assassination would cause "serious damage" to Hamas and ultimately strengthen the forces of moderation even if it increased motivation for "terror attacks" in the short term.
he aadded that Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat and Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah's response to Monday's assassination showed that "they understand that their turn is drawing near." (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
- Yassin assassination: Israel on high alert in fear of retaliatory attacks
- New poll shows majority of Israelis back Yassin assassination; 43% support killing Arafat
- Israel threatens to kill Palestinian Prime Minister
- Sheikh Yassin: Hamas ready to new truce, Saddam arrest - blow to Palestinians
- Sharon says Israel had ''natural right'' to assassinate Hamas founder