Thursday, November 23, 2006

Shin Bet opposes assassination of Palestinian leaders

(From a European Jewish Congress news digest)

The Shin Bet security service opposes targeted killings of Palestinian politicians, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin told the diplomatic-security cabinet yesterday.

The cabinet, which was discussing Israel’s response to the ongoing Qassam rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, adopted Diskin’s recommendation and decided against targeting politicians. However, it approved another controversial proposal : targeting Hamas institutions in the Gaza Strip. During a discussion of the use of targeted killings to combat Qassam launches, defense officials explained there were three types of targets, and different instructions for dealing with each.

The first category is people directly involved in terrorism, including Qassam launches. The army’s policy is to kill such people any time accurate intelligence produces a reasonable operational opportunity.

The second covers senior officials in the terrorist organizations’ military wings, who can be killed only with the approval of Attorney General Menachem Mazuz.

The third category is Palestinian political leaders, and Diskin told the cabinet that he opposes targeting such people at all. "Has it helped us in the past ?" he demanded.

After some debate, the cabinet agreed that political leaders should have immunity, even if they used to be involved in terror but have since transferred over to their organization’s civilian wing. This means that Israel will not attempt to assassinate figures such as Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, even though his Hamas organization has repeatedly claimed responsibility for Qassam launches.

Instead, the cabinet’s decision read, targeted killings will be used only against "those involved in practice in committing [acts of] terror." However, the cabinet decided, Israel will step up its response to the Qassam fire in other ways, including targeting Hamas institutions in the Gaza Strip

1 comment:

William said...

Targeting Hamas institutions now? They do it already. Look at the miserable state of the Foreign Ministry in Gaza. Israel sure is great at making friends sometimes.