Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ever the Bibi . . . . No Truce for Me

Some features of the recent Israeli assasination of Hamas official Ahmed Al-Jabiri - which, if not the real spark of the bombardment of Gaza it was certainly the most provocative turn in the cycle of escalting violence - are not all that explosive afterall. That is, political assasinations have been common fare here for decades, espcially of Gazans. Also, the method - a missile fired remotely from a buzzing person-less drone - is now becoming an ubiqitous tactic for obliterating opponent leaders (by Israel and now the United States).

But the timing . . .

Al-Jabiri was a former Fatah loyalist who turned to Hamas during his pre-First Intifada imprisonment by Israel; after his release he rose eventually to chief of staff of Hamas' military wing.

According to persistent reports here from insiders, Al-Jabiri was actually in active negotiation with Israel for a long-term truce when he was terminated.

Sound familiar?

See this excerpt from Paul McGeough's gripping account of the botched Mossad assasination in 1997 in Amman of Khalid Mishal (who thereafter rose to lead Hamas political bureau) (Kill Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assasination of Khalid Mishal and the Rise of Hamas, 2009, The New Press; It would be better billed as a compelling, detailed history of Middle East politics from the 1980s to 2007).

The Israeli Prime Minister giving the orders? . . . Benjamin Netanyahu, in his first iteration.

". . . just three days before, King Hussein had personally conveyed a message to Prime Minister Netanyahu saying that Hamas was prepared to discuss a halt to the attacks on Israel in the context of a thirty-year truce. Now Israel, the American ally that had urged Washington to lock Hamas out in the cold because of its reliance on terror as a weapon, was admitting it had engaged in its own state-sanctioned terrorism against Hamas - but on the home turf of another loyal U.S. ally, Jordan. It was inconceivable." (p. 146)

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