Remark comes a day after killing of Hamas deputy head Arouri

Mossad chief: Those who took part in Oct. 7 massacre signed their own death warrant

At funeral of Zvi Zamir, David Barnea says ex-spymaster’s spirit ‘will accompany us’ on mission to kill Hamas heads, likening it to Zamir’s hunt for 1972 Munich Massacre culprits

File: Mossad Director David Barnea speaks during a Conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), in Tel Aviv, on September 10, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
File: Mossad Director David Barnea speaks during a Conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), in Tel Aviv, on September 10, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The head of the Mossad spy agency David Barnea declared Wednesday that anyone involved in carrying out Hamas’s October 7 onslaught “signed his own death warrant,” a day after the terror group’s deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri was killed in an alleged Israeli strike in Beirut.

Barnea made the comment at the funeral of former Mossad chief Zvi Zamir, likening Israel’s ongoing declared mission to eliminate Hamas’s leaders to the decades-long operation — launched by the late spy chief — to hunt down the Palestinian terrorists responsible for the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

“Let every Arab mother know that if her son took part in the [October 7] massacre — he signed his own death warrant,” Barnea said.

The quote is a paraphrase of a famous one by Israel’s first prime minister David Ben Gurion, who said in a 1963 speech: “Let every Hebrew mother know she has entrusted the fate of her [soldier] sons to commanders worthy of it.”

“Today, too, we are in the middle of a war,” Barnea said at the funeral. “The Mossad today, like 50 years ago, must hold to account the murderers who invaded the Gaza border area on October 7 — the planners and those who sent them.”

“But we will get our hands on them wherever they are. Zvika [Zamir]’s spirit will accompany us in this mission,” he said.

Barnea recounted how Zamir once told him the story of the mission to target the terrorists who conducted the 1972 Munich Massacre.

“I will never forget Zvika’s message to us and to me: the murders in Munich were a defining event for him and for the people of Israel. The Mossad decided to take off its gloves and go on the offensive,” he said.

Zamir, who died Tuesday aged 98, led the Mossad from 1968 to 1974, six tumultuous years that saw the organization and its straitlaced chief embark on the worldwide hunt for the Black September group terrorists following the Munich Olympics attacks; send commandos into the heart of Beirut in a daring operation; and attempt to sound a late-night warning bell on the eve of Yom Kippur in 1973 as Egyptian and Syrian forces prepared to mount the surprise attack that launched the Yom Kippur War.

The current war erupted on October 7 when some 3,000 terrorists led by Hamas burst through the border from the Gaza Strip and rampaged through southern regions, slaughtering over 1,200 people in Israel, mostly civilians, amid brutal atrocities. Over 240 people of all ages, including small children and the elderly, were abducted and taken hostage in Gaza.

In recordings aired by the Kan public broadcaster in December, Barnea called the mission to kill Hamas’s leaders “our Munich.”

“In every location, in Gaza, in the West Bank, in Lebanon, in Turkey, in Qatar, every one,” he said. “It will take a few years, but we will be there in order to do it.”

File: Zvi Zamir speaks at a memorial service marking 21 years since the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, held at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on November 4, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The efforts against those responsible for the Munich Massacre reportedly continued for over 20 years. Several Palestinian figures were killed, although there are conflicting claims on how many of them were directly involved in the massacre. The operation was depicted in the 1986 film “Sword of Gideon,” and in Steven Spielberg’s 2005 movie “Munich.”

In November, The Wall Street Journal reported that Israel was planning to hunt down Hamas leaders around the world once it shifts away from fighting the terror group in Gaza.

Aside from possible assassinations abroad, the Mossad and Shin Bet have reportedly formed a special operations center tasked with tracking down and killing members of the Hamas commando unit that led the October 7 attacks.

According to the Ynet news site, the unit will be named after the World War I-era Jewish underground organization Nili, an acronym for a Hebrew phrase that translates as “the Eternal One of Israel does not lie.”

Israel has already announced the killing of several top Hamas commanders in Gaza during the fighting, though the group’s local leader Yahya Sinwar and his deputies remain at large.

Israel has remained mum on the explosion that killed Arouri on Tuesday and shook the Lebanese capital’s southern suburbs, which are a stronghold of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group. Sources in Washington have told media outlets that Israel carried out the assassination.

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