Israel drawing up plans for global campaign to assassinate Hamas leaders — report

Israel is planning to hunt down Hamas leaders around the world once it shifts away from fighting the group in Gaza, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Spy agencies have been ordered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  to draw up plans to assassinate the group’s top leaders outside of Gaza, who live in Turkey, Qatar and elsewhere, the paper reports, citing Israeli officials.

In the 1970s, Israel embarked on a years-long campaign to assassinate Palestinian terrorists involved in the Munich Olympics massacre.

According to the report, some called for Israel to immediately assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and others following the October 7 attack. However, doing so on Qatari or Turkish soil could have strained or torpedoed diplomatic efforts to free hostages, and the idea was pushed off.

Former Chief of Hamas’ Political Bureau Khaled Meshaal speaks during conference in the Qatari capital, Doha on May 1, 2017. (KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

Netanyahu hinted at Israel’s plans for assassinations abroad in an address in late November, to the ire of some who preferred to keep the future campaign under wraps, according to the WSJ.

The paper also reports that Israel is looking into the possibility of expelling lower-level Hamas fighters from Gaza to shorten the war.

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