Senior Israeli lawmaker Tzachi Hanegbi (Kadima party), said on Monday that the Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya does not have immunity in spite of the fact that he was elected by the Palestinians, and that he and other Hamas leaders may be targeted for assassination.
"Yassin and Rantissi are waiting for you, Haniyya”, Hanegbi stated, “If you continue your policy of liquidating Jews, indiscriminate firing, and suicide terror attacks aimed at paralyzing Israeli society anew".
Hanegbi is the chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee at the Knesset.
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, quadriplegic and nearly blind, was killed in an Israeli attack on March 22, 2004. While he was being wheeled out of an early morning prayer session, an Israeli helicopter gunship fired Hellfire missiles at Yassin and both of his bodyguards. They were killed instantly, along with six other bystanders. More than a dozen people were injured in the operation, including two of Yassin’s sons.
Abdul-Aziz Al Rantissi was assassinated on April 17, 2004, by the Israeli Army with missiles fired at his car. Two others, one a bodyguard named Akram Nassar and the other Rantissi’s 27-year-old son Mohammad, were also killed in the attack, and four bystanders wounded
Regarding a proposal of a possible ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, Hanegbi said that this option is not being considered at the current time “but could be carried out depending on the conditions on the ground”.
Also, Hanegbi added that Israel will continue shelling areas in the Gaza Strip to stop the firing of homemade shells against Israeli settlements adjacent to the borders.
Meanwhile, senior Israeli military sources said that the assassinations against senior leaders of Hamas could be discussed if the movement resumes its attacks against Israel.
On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, Peretz blocked on Sunday at night a proposal by the Israel Army top brass for a broad Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip in response to the Qassam homemade shells fired at Sderot and its environs, but said that Israel could assassinate senior political leaders of Hamas.
He added that the fact that Hamas heads the Palestinian government does not give the movement and its leaders “immunity” against assassinations.
Israeli intelligence sources claimed that Israel received 97 warnings that Palestinian groups are planning attacks inside Israel.
The claimed warnings came, according to the sources, after the Israeli army fired shells at civilians vacationing at Gaza beach killing eleven residents, including seven members of the same family.
Eleven of the claimed warning of suicide bombings in Israel are said to be planned by Hamas’ military wing.