Is Israel returning to the policy of ‘targeted assassinations?’

The targeted assassination that the Palestinians now attribute to the IDF is considered by the Palestinians to be the most lethal and effective method of combating terror.

By Baruch Yedid, TPS

Tamer Kilani, a 33-year-old leader of the Shechem (Nablus) -based terror cell Lion’s Den, was killed in an explosion in the early morning hours on Sunday. If the allegations made by Lion’s Den turn out to be true – that Israel was behind the explosion in a “targeted assassination” – it would constitute an escalation in the IDF’s current anti-terrorism campaigns.

Kilani, a resident of Shechem, was killed in the Al Yasmina neighborhood of its Old City when a bomb attached to a motor scooter exploded.

According to Palestinian sources who spoke with TPS, the assassination was carried out using a sticky TNT charge attached to a scooter, which was placed in one of the alleys in the Al Yasmina neighborhood in the casbah shortly before Kilani passed by. Some claim that a drone hovered over the city at the time to observe when Kilani was close enough to set off the explosion

Kilani previously spent eight years in prison for his terror activities in the “Abu Ali Matzafa Brigades” of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The Lion’s Den terror group was responsible for sending the terrorist Muhammad Al Manawi, who was captured before he could carry out a a mass-casualty attack in Jaffa in September and who was also responsible for a series of shootings directed at IDF forces in Samaria.

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The deterioration of the security situation is also reflected in a sharp increase in the number of Palestinian deaths this year. The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced Sunday morning that so far this year 177 Palestinians were killed in clashes with the IDF, including 51 residents of the Gaza Strip who were killed in Operation Breaking Dawn.

The targeted assassination that the Palestinians now attribute to the IDF is considered by the Palestinians to be the most lethal and effective method of combating terror.

The IDF attaches great importance to the elimination of “political” leaders of the Palestinian terrorist organizations and less so to the elimination of field operatives who are considered “ticking bombs.”

Other terror leaders ‘taken out’

There is no shortage of examples of Israel’s having “taken out” terrorist leaders in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip over the years.

For example, Sheikh, Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas, was eliminated in 2004, in response to a wave of suicide bombings on buses, Abu Ali Matzafa, and in 2001, the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was killed while in his office in Ramallah, using missiles fired from an IDF Apache helicopter.

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Shechem is becoming, and not for the first time, the “capital of terror.” During the Second Intifada of 2000-2005, the IDF used a variety of methods of elimination in the city. Iman Halawa, an engineer in the service of Hamas and a suicide recruiter, was killed when a bomb exploded in the car he was driving near Rafidiya Hospital, while Osama Jawabra, a member of the “Al-Aqsa Martyrs” of Fatah, found his death in an explosion inside a public telephone booth in 2001

Others were killed when fences or vehicles exploded near them.

According to Palestinian sources, 195 people were eliminated by various methods of “targeted elimination” during the First Intifada of 1987-1993, while 167 terrorist operatives from Gaza died in “targeted assassinations” in the Second Intifada.