Hamas dismissed the threat of targeted killings as “psychological warfare” and said its political leaders were not in hiding. The group’s military commanders tend to keep a low profile anyway, for fear of Israeli assassination attempts.
“This is psychological warfare designed to terrorize our people,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said of the assassination talk. “Hamas will not bow to Israeli threats and people in Gaza will continue to live their ordinary lives not fearing such threats.”
Under Mr. Yaalon and Mr. Mofaz, Israeli aircraft struck at the commander of Hamas‘ military wing, Salah Shehadeh, the movement’s spiritual leader, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, his successor, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, and dozens of other senior Hamas military commanders.
Militants retaliated for some of the targeted attacks but eventually replaced the suicide bombings with years of rocket fire that still sends Israeli civilians running for shelters.
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