Israel Takes Down Gaza Terror Commanders

Is it really peace they want?Palestinian banner. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Is it really peace they want?Palestinian banner. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

When targeting terrorist groups, it’s especially beneficial to take out their leadership. This worked with Al-Qaeda, and it’s Israel’s approach to the terrorists in Gaza. This week, Israel has assassinated three Hamas commanders, according to the IDF Blog.

The three Hamas commanders were responsible for a number of terror attacks, with two of them directly involved in the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006. The IDF Blog reported that two of the Hamas operatives were also involved in weapons smuggling for terrorists in Gaza.

“This morning’s strike sends a clear message to those responsible for planning attacks: We will strike those who have terrorized our communities, towns and cities, and we will pursue the perpetrators of abduction of our soldiers and teenagers,” IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said in the report. “We will succeed in restoring security to the State of Israel.”

One of the Hamas commanders, Mohammed Abu Shamlah, led Hamas operatives in Southern Gaza, and planned dozens of attacks against Israel.

This isn’t the first time Israel has hit Hamas’ leadership. They assassinated the former head of Hamas’ military wing in the last conflict with Gaza in 2012.

Israel’s approach to target Hamas leaders could be seen as an effort to raise the stakes for Hamas, whose leaders reportedly hide much of the time and whose operatives use their own people as human shields. By hitting the senior operatives, Israel makes it clear that the violence will reach those making the decisions in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implied such attacks might be in the plans on Wednesday, when his office quoted him as specifically identifying Hamas commanders as targets.

Said Lerner in the IDF Blog report, “Hamas terrorists orchestrating attacks against Israel, launching rockets indiscriminately at our civilians and abducting our soldiers will not evade our intelligence and striking capabilities.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, August 21, 2014)

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