Commentary from David Bedein:

In March 2004, Israel announced that it killed Hamas leader, Ahmed Yassin

Israel paid no price in terms of bad public relations for that act, despite the close relationship that Yassin had enjoyed with the Palestinian Authority


Israeli Cabinet Minister Uzi Landau and MK Avi Dichter of opposition party Kadima both expressed support Thursday for a renewal of the “targeted killing” policy against terror chiefs. Dichter also called for striking civilian infrastructures in the terror haven.

The “targeted killings” policy is a proactive anti-terror tactic in which the IDF does not wait for terrorists to act against Israel in order to strike at them. Rather, it uses its air superiority in order to pick off known terrorist leaders based on real-time intelligence regarding their whereabouts.

Dichter, who is a former Head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), said that some politicians’ calls to invade Gaza were “divorced from reality.” Embarking on such an operation, he explained, requires a period of preparation of more than a year. “This is our strategic goal,” he said, “but right now we need to act… immediately on the tactical plane.”

The way to create deterrence vis-a-vis Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Dichter added, requires pinpoint strikes rather than massive attack. Israel, he said, should be “hitting key members of the terror infrastructure in Gaza and at the same time hitting the civilian infrastructures of the Strip.”

“The current escalation is the product of an area that, for all purposes, has turned into a terrorist entity. The state of Israel cannot allow itself to accept such a reality between itself and Egypt,” Dichter said. His party, Kadima, initiated the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza which led to its being taken over by Hamas.

Minister Landau said that the ongoing terrorist missile fire was ‘inching northward’ toward Tel Aviv, and was a direct result of the lack of a decisive victory in Operation Cast Lead. He blamed the previous government under Kadima for allowing a routine of incessant missile fire to gain legitimacy.

A policy of retaliation that consists of bombing open spaces, “a tunnel here and a tunnel there,” which consists of “causing sand to fly and making some dust” only invites more terror.

Hamas leaders in Gaza, he said, “should go into the bunkers and worry about their personal good health around the clock.”