An Egyptian newspaper reported Saturday that Israeli forces had planned to assassinate Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza after last week’s shooting attack that killed five Israeli civilians and three soldiers, but Israeli officials managed to convince the Israeli leadership not to carry out the assassination.Even so, Israeli forces did assassinate a number of leaders of the Popular Resistance Committees over the last week, and the 41 bombs dropped by the Israeli airforce also killed at least twelve civilians, including two small children, and wounded over 40 civilians, some of them critically.
Just hours after the shooting attack in southern Israel, Israeli forces began heavy bombardment of the Gaza Strip — even though no Palestinian factions had claimed credit for the attack, and no Palestinians were known to be involved. In the days that followed, Egyptian forces arrested several suspects charged with involvement in the Israeli attack – none of which were Palestinian.
During the last week, Egyptian officials had worked to negotiate with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to try to negotiate an end to both the Israeli bombardment of Gaza which killed eighteen, and the subsequent Palestinian shelling of Israel, which killed one.
According to the Al-Ahram newspaper, an unnamed official from the interim Egyptian government told reporters that the Egyptian government had spoken with Israeli officials and convinced them not to assassinate the Palestinian Prime Minister as one of their targets in Gaza.
After a ceasefire negotiated between Hamas and other resistance groups in Gaza on Wednesday, Israeli forces killed eight Palestinians in a series of airstrikes on Thursday. However, instead of responding, Palestinian groups on Friday reiterated their desire for a ceasefire with Israel, and declared again a ceasefire.