Is­rael con­tin­ues to deny in­volve­ment in as­sas­si­na­tions of Pales­tinian mil­i­tants

AS WORLD COM­MEM­O­RATES 70 YEARS SINCE NAKBA, IS­RAEL HAS LONG HIS­TORY OF SUS­PECTED TAR­GET­ING OF HA­MAS, FATAH LEAD­ERS

The Daily News Egypt - - News -

Is­rael has con­tin­ued to deny any role in as­sas­si­na­tions of Pales­tinian po­lit­i­cally en­gaged in­di­vid­u­als, the lat­est be­ing the killing of Ha­mas sci­en­tist Fadi Al-Batsh, whose death Is­raeli De­fence Min­is­ter-Avig­dor Lieber­man de­nied the Mos­sad’s in­volve­ment in.

Lieber­man’s ex­pected state­ments come in con­trary to Ha­mas of­fi­cials’ re­marks, as they ac­cused Is­rael of shoot­ing the sci­en­tist, and also con­trary to state­ments of the Malaysian Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi, who as­serted the shoot­ing sus­pects, who fled the scene, were thought to be Euro­pean with links to a for­eign in­tel­li­gence agency.

Ac­cord­ing to Ber­nama, Malaysia’s state news agency, Hamidi said Al-Batsh could have been seen as “a li­a­bil­ity for a coun­try that is an enemy of Pales­tine.”

The slain Ha­mas sci­en­tist was “no saint,” Lieber­man said dur­ing an in­ter­view on Is­raeli ra­dio and claimed he was an ex­pert in rocket pro­duc­tion. Liber­man’s govern­ment has long been con­cerned about rock­ets be­ing fired from the Gaza Strip—which is ad­min­is­tered by Ha­mas—into Is­rael.

Liber­man went on to say that the killing is not the work of the Mos­sad, but ar­gued that it is an act of “set­tling of ac­counts” be­tween Is­lamic mil­i­tants.

“There’s a tra­di­tion among ter­ror or­gan­i­sa­tions of blam­ing Is­rael for ev­ery in­stance of set­tling of ac­counts,” Lieber­man said.

Is­rael has a long his­tory of sus­pected tar­get­ing of Pales­tinian mil­i­tants in over­seas op­er­a­tions. They have also been linked to other as­sas­si­na­tions as well, but have rarely ac­knowl­edged them pub­licly.

In 2012, Ye­diott Ahronoth news­pa­per said that the Is­raeli govern­ment ad­mit­ted to the killing of Khalil al-Wazir, a co-founder of Fatah, say­ing the op­er­a­tion was planned by the Mos­sad spy agency.

Al-Wazir, who is also known as Abu Ji­had, was shot dead on 16 April 1988 dur­ing a com­mando raid on the Pales­tinian Lib­er­a­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion (PLO)’s head­quar­ters in Tu­nis. The news­pa­per said that the com­mando unit Say­eret Matkal, over­seen by the Mos­sad, car­ried out the raid, de­scrib­ing the man as “the num­ber two man in the PLO.”

Al-Wazir served as deputy to long-time PLO leader Yasser Arafat and played a lead­ing role in or­gan­is­ing the 1987-1994 in­tifada up­ris­ing against the Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion. The news­pa­per quoted Nahum Lev, who com­manded the op­er­a­tion, say­ing that the Is­raeli of­fi­cials have “read ev­ery page of the file on him,” adding that he was re­lated to sev­eral acts where Is­raeli in­di­vid­u­als were killed.

“He was marked for death. I shot him with no hes­i­ta­tion,” Lev,Al-Wazir’s as­sas­sin, said.

On the same in­ci­dent, a re­port by Is­raeli of­fi­cials was pub­lished with the de­tails of the op­er­a­tion. It de­scribed that the op­er­a­tion in­cluded 26 sol­diers, who snuck into Al-Wazir’s house in Tu­nis. Four peo­ple, in­clud­ing Al-Wazir, were killed.

In 2001, Amnesty In­ter­na­tional said,“the Is­raeli se­cu­rity forces who carry out ex­tra­ju­di­cial ex­e­cu­tions of­fer no proof of guilt, no right of de­fence.”

“The Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties are show­ing an ut­ter dis­re­gard of the right to life,” ac­cord­ing to Amnesty In­ter­na­tional. The or­gan­i­sa­tion re­it­er­ated its con­dem­na­tion of what it called “liq­ui­da­tion pol­icy” and called on the Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties to cease such ac­tions im­me­di­ately and “to re­store the right to life by in­ves­ti­gat­ing ev­ery killing.”

In July 2001, Is­rael killed three Is­lamic mil­i­tants, Mo­hammed Be­sharat, Sameh Nuri Abu Hameish, and Walid Sidqi Be­sharat, in a he­li­copter mis­sile at­tack in the area of Jenin, in the West Bank, while a week prior, Usama Fathi Jawabra, a Fatah mem­ber, was killed in an ex­plo­sion in a pub­lic tele­phone booth in the city of Nablus.

THE IS­RAELI AU­THOR­I­TIES ARE SHOW­ING AN UT­TER DIS­RE­GARD OF THE RIGHT TO LIFE

Fadi Al-Batsh

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