Report: Sharon authorizes Mossad to kill Palestinian activists in '\'friendly'\' countries
Israeli secret death squads have been authorized to enter “friendly” countries and assassinate Palestinian activists, a move that indicates a shift in Israeli policy, according to an Australian newspaper report.
Agents of Israel’s Intelligence service - Mossad have been given free rein to kill those deemed to be a threat to the Jewish country – no matter where they are hiding, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has until now refused permission for assassinations on the home ground of allies, has reversed the policy in the framework of a more aggressive approach to “terrorism”.
The move was disclosed by former Mossad agents during interviews with UPI and was later on confirmed by American intelligence officials. They said the policy raised the potential for killings in countries with close relations to Israel, including the United States, Britain and Australia. A return to killings of this sort is expected to raise concerns among Israel's Western allies.
One Mossad official told UPI the policy shift was prompted by "a huge budget" increase for the secret agency in the context of "a tougher stance in fighting global jihad".
"Targeted killings" have generally been restricted to the West Bank and Gaza Strip because "no one wanted such operations on their territory", one Israeli official was quoted as saying. However, that is changing with the appointment late last year of new Mossad Chief Meir Dagan.
The assassinations are likely to be carried out by a unit of Mossad's secret Metsada department called the Kidon, ("bayonet" in Hebrew).
The agents will have to answer to Dagan, who has been described by a CIA agent as having a "real killer instinct." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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