Israel nearly assassinated top Hamas leaders, prevented by Egyptian delegation, says report

Israel nearly assassinated Hamas’ top leader in the Gaza Strip, a report says. 

By World Israel News Staff

Israel nearly carried out a targeted killing against the current leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, and another senior military figure in the terrorist high command, London-based Arabic news outlet Al-Araby Al-Jadid reported on Tuesday.

The Israelis were convinced to refrain from carrying out the attack by an Egyptian delegation that visited Israel last week, the news outlet reports.

Along with Sinwar, the other target was to be Mohammed Deif, commander of Hamas’ Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hamas last Tuesday that Israel was “preparing” an attack on the terror group that would be “the surprise of their lives if they don’t come to their senses” and stop the launching of booby-trapped balloons from the Gaza Strip.

At the weekly Cabinet meeting on Feb. 9, Netanyahu hinted at the possibility of targeted killings.

Netanyahu said, “Only a few weeks ago, we targeted the senior Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, and I suggest that both Islamic Jihad and Hamas should refresh their memories.”

“I will not go into detail about all of our plans in front of the media, but we are prepared to take devastating action against the terrorist organizations in Gaza,” he said.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett echoed the prime minister’s words during a tour of the Army’s Gaza Division.

“No one is immune,” Bennett said. “The lawless conduct of Hamas leaders is bringing us closer to taking a decisive action against them. We won’t reveal when or where it will happen, but the action we would take will be very different from any previous ones.”

Israel has so far from refrained from decisive action against the terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, despite repeated rocket attacks and, most recently, the launching of balloons carrying booby trapped devices.

Israeli media reported this week of a close call in which a young boy stopped his sister from picking up one of the explosive devices that landed in their yard in southern Israel.