IDF killed Hamas chief’s sons without Netanyahu’s approval

Netanyahu was reportedly “taken by surprise” when informed about strike that killed Hamas politburo head’s sons.

By World Israel News Staff

The Israeli army did not consult Prime Minister Netanyahu or his war cabinet before executing an airstrike that killed three of Hamas politburo head Ismail Haniyeh’s sons and several of his grandchildren, Hebrew-language media reports indicated.

Netanyahu and his limited war cabinet, consisting of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and former Defense Minister Benny Gantz, were said to be “taken by surprise” when informed about the bombing, which left six members of Haniyeh’s family dead, according to Channel 12 News.

The decision to carry out the strike was made without approval from Netanyahu or his cabinet due to the time-sensitive nature of the operation.

A senior army official, speaking to Channel 12, said that the choice to move forward with the assassinations without informing government officials was in line with existing IDF policy.

The official said that the Shin Bet had received real-time intelligence regarding the location of Haniyeh’s sons, as well as information that they were en route to carry out terror-related activities.

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Due to those factors, IDF commanders made the decision to move ahead with the strike, without clearing the operation with Netanyahu and his cabinet beforehand.

The army official added that the three men were killed due to their terror activities, and not because they were Haniyeh’s sons.

According to Channel 12, the Shin Bet and army believed that the slaying of the men would not derail ongoing ceasefire talks.

The Shin Bet and IDF maintain that Israel is far from reaching a deal which would see the end of fighting in the Strip and the release of the some 130 hostages still held in the coastal enclave.

The authorities also believe that the killing of Haniyeh’s children would not impact Hamas’ willingness to negotiate or accept a deal, should they have serious intentions to do so.

While Haniyeh, who lives in Qatar, is the head of Hamas’ political wing, Yahya Sinwar is the head of the terror group’s military branch.

Sinwar is the sole authority for wartime decisions, such as accepting or rejecting a hostage deal, Israeli intelligence agencies believe.