How Israel Plans To Destroy Hamas Leaders After War

Former Mossad Director Efraim Halevy has raised concerns about the operations, WSJ claims.

New Delhi:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly wants to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Golda Meir and authorise an ‘Operation Wrath of God’-like mission — kill Israel’s enemies across countries, spanning continents — once its campaign in Gaza winds down.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Netanyahu has instructed Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, to streamline a plan to execute this task. Mossad is reportedly drawing up plans to neutralise high-value targets in Turkey, Lebanon and Qatar – the latter in particular as its capital plays host to a Hamas office. 

Hamas’s political office was “opened in Qatar in 2012 in coordination with the United States government, following a US request to open a communication channel”, news agency AFP quoted a Qatari official in October. 

The Targets 

Former Mossad Director Efraim Halevy has raised concerns about the operations, WSJ claims, warning that such actions could have unintended consequences and further destabilise the region. Halevy said eliminating Hamas targets across the globe would not necessarily eliminate threats to Israel.

“Pursuing Hamas on a worldwide scale and trying to systematically remove all its leaders from this world is a desire to exact revenge, not a desire to achieve a strategic aim,” Halevy was quoted as saying by WSJ.

Some of the big names that may feature in Mossad’s kill list are Ismail Haniyeh, Mohammed Deif, Yahya Sinwar and Khaled Mashal. 

Ismail Haniyeh

Haniyeh, 60, is a politician who is a former Palestinian prime minister. He was elected as the head of Hamas’ political bureau in 2017.  In 2006, while serving as the Palestinian PM, Haniyeh was the subject of an assassination plot using a poison-filled letter. 

Haniyeh lives in voluntary exile, splitting his time between Qatar and Turkey. 

Mohammed Deif

Deif heads Hamas’ military wing, the Ezzdine al-Qassam Brigades, and is Israel’s public enemy number one. Israeli authorities have tried to assassinate him at least six times, as per reports. He has also been on the US list of “international terrorists” since 2015.

The audio message at the start of the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, dubbed the “Al-Aqsa Flood”, carried Deif’s voice. His current whereabouts are unknown but Israel believes he is fighting alongside Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip.

Yahya Sinwar

Sinwar, 61, is a former commander of the Ezzdine al-Qassam Brigades and was elected in 2017 as head of Hamas in Gaza. He has spent 23 years in Israeli jails before his release in 2011 in a prisoner exchange involving French-Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was held captive by Hamas.

Some of the Israeli hostages taken to Gaza have spoken about encountering Sinwar during their captivity. 

Khaled Mashal

Mashal is a founding member of Hamas Politburo and was the chairman until 2017. His current whereabouts are believed to be in Qatar.

Mashal was at the centre of a sensational assassination attempt in Jordan in 1997 when Mossad agents, posing as Canadian tourists, sprayed a deadly toxin into one of his ears. The Mossad kill-team was captured and Mashal fell into a coma.

US President Bill Clinton had to intervene and the then Mossad chief Danny Yatom had to fly to Amman with an antidote. 

‘What Justice Demands’

Yoav Gallant. the Israeli defence minister, has mugshots of hundreds of Hams fighters and commanders on a poster that hangs on a wall of his Tel Aviv office. 

“They are living on borrowed time,” Gallant said last week, as quoted by Reuters. 

WSJ claims that some Israeli officials wanted to commence the killing campaign not long after the October 7 attacks. According to the WSJ, a retired Israeli general called Amos Yadlin said a targetted killing campaign “is what justice demands”. 

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