Israel's War Against Hamas Terrorists Goes Global
Eli Lake reports that Israel's war against the terrorism of Hamas has gone beyond Gaza:
Israel’s security agencies are stepping up targeted attacks throughout the world on Hamas‘ leadership in what one Israeli official called “intelligence-based prevention.”
In the past two months, Israeli operatives have intercepted a German ship in international waters, fired a missile at a suspected Hamas leader in Sudan, and captured a Hamas engineer in the Ukraine, according to Israeli and Western officials and press reports from the region.
“Israel defeated the wave of suicide bombing attacks against it in 2002 by identifying the leadership that was behind it and making it clear to them that they would pay a price,” said Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and specialist on international terrorism.
“Presently, the effort to cripple Hamas‘ military capabilities is no longer confined to the Gaza Strip alone, but to the entire Hamas global network and that of its allies.”
The alleged Hamas ceasefire, which is supposed include other terrorist groups in Gaza, will not affect Israeli's extended operations, which are--in part--a response to the world condemnation of Operation Cast Lead:
“This is a policy of intelligence-based prevention, which has stepped up in recent months,” an Israeli national security official, who asked not to be named, told The Washington Times. “One part of the strategy is prevention.”
While Israelis have conducted intelligence operations throughout the world for years, these kinds of direct actions have become more central to Israel’s war policy against Hamas under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
It is hoped that because of their covert nature, the potential diplomatic damage to Israel will be minimized. Along those line, the operations are authorized by a military lawyer to ensure that it is in accordance with international law.
The new strategy is not limited only to leaders of Hamas, though they have been the main focus:
In January, in a Dubai hotel, a Mossad team killed Mahmoud al-Mahbouh, a senior Hamas operative.
In February, Israel captured Dirar Abu-Sisi, an engineer accused of designing military rockets for Hamas, while he was aboard a train in the Ukraine.
In March, Israeli commandos boarded the Victoria, a German ship carrying Chinese-made land-to-sea rockets from Iran, headed to Gaza.
This past Tuesday, an unidentified aircraft fired a missile at a car carrying two men in Sudan. Israeli has neither confirmed nor denied having a role, though Ismail al-Ashqar, a Hamas member of parliament, has claimed the attack was aimed at his nephew, Abdel Latif al-Ashqar, a Hamas commander.
One of the goals of these operations is to prevent an escalation of tensions--and violence.
We will have to see if that aspect of the operations is a success.