The Israeli Air Force tried to eliminate Hamas’s terrorist chief Mohammed Deif in a bunker-buster bombing raid on his home Tuesday night.
Hamas has confirmed that his wife and a daughter were killed. It is not known if he was at his home at the time and, if so, if he was killed or wounded. Hamas silence on his fate raises speculation that he may have been killed or seriously wounded.
Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar Wednesday morning compared Deif with Osama bin Laden, calling him an arch-murderer.
The attempt to kill Deif is a clear signal from Israel that it wants to target terrorist leaders, and it can be assumed that all of them are hiding underground or within areas with a high civilian population.
Israel has plenty of other wanted terrorists to eliminate. One of them is Ismail Haniyeh, who was de facto prime minister of Gaza until Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas partnered up with a unity government earlier this year.
Haniyeh is one of the original founders of Hamas and still leads the terrorist organization under the camouflage of a “technocrat” unity government that supposedly does not include Hamas.
But Hamas is more than a terrorist group. Like Hezbollah in Lebanon, it finances, with the help of Qatar and Iran, and operates schools welfare and social services. It is intertwined in the daily lives of Gazans, who are dependent on Hamas for necessities of life.
If Israel wants to go for broke, it can aim for Khaled Mashaal, the supreme leader of Hamas but whose base is in Qatar, his benefactor.
Sources in the Israel government said Tuesday it has evidence that Mashaal purposely torpedoed the last 24-hour extension of the cease-fire in order to stop Egypt from pushing its proposal for a longer-term truce that does not satisfy Hamas demands.
Israel radio reported that Qatar, which opposes Egyptian mediation efforts, gave Mashaal an ultimatum to resume rocket fire or face expulsion