Monday, April 26, 2004

Marked For Death Part III?

Israel Identifies New Secret Hamas Leader
Israel identified the new, secret Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip as Mahmoud Zahar, a 53-year-old Egyptian-trained physician, and signaled Monday he won't be targeted if the militant group halts attacks on Israelis.

Israel's military chief, Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, told the Yediot Ahronot daily the new Hamas leader had inherited the post "automatically" and reluctantly accepted the position. Yaalon also signaled Israel would avoid attacking him as long as the group remains quiet.

"He doesn't want it, and he is apparently avoiding making decisions, and he is apparently avoiding terrorism," Yaalon said. "Anyone who doesn't use terrorism against us, we do not deal with."

Israel seems to be carrying out a bold, aggressive and possibly devastating strategy here. If they really are getting as good at assassinating terrorist leaders as it seems, then Hamas and similar groups (or at least their leaders) might be faced with either destruction by the Israelis or the humiliation (and subsequent loss of political clout) of having their actions dictated to them by Israel.


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