Will Israel do it again?

20th Anniversary of the Assassination Attempt of MishaalKhaled Mishaal attempt

The Israeli media highlighted the 20th anniversary of the failed assassination attempt of Khaled Mishaal, the former head of the Hamas’s political bureau, saying, “Twenty years passed since the failed assassination attempt of Mishaal and here he is today sitting at his home sipping a cup of coffee”.

The failure to carry out the assassination by the Israeli foreign intelligence apparatus, the Mossad, was the focus of an article published by the military analysist and writer Yoav Limor in the Hebrew Israel Today newspaper.

The article, titled “20 Years After the Assassination Attempt of Khaled Mishaal: Failures and Lessons,” read: “Khaled Mishaal will have the opportunity today to celebrate his 20th birthday, or rather, 20 years after the day he was born again”.

Limor says that Mishaal owes his life to three factors. The first is his divine luck, the second is the lack of professionalism of the Mossad agents and the third is their negligence.

The first factor is connected with several random sub-factors, which appeared at the moment of the truth. “The fact that his children traveled with him that morning in the car, and that his daughter came out after him and surprised the killers; the presence of Mishaal’s guards led to delaying and confusing their escape plan. The presence of a police officer who took the killers to a police station in order to question them, where they were interrogated, confessed and arrested,” he continued.

The second factor is related to the political leadership of Israel, which approved the operation under pressure after two attacks in Jerusalem that caused a lot of casualties, making the political leadership of Israel, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seek immediate response, thus approving the assassination, although the available information about Mishaal’s whereabouts were limited, especially that it would take place in Jordan, which has a special sensitivity, given the special relationship between the two countries.

Intelligence failure
According to Limor, in subsequent investigations, it became clear that many parties (including cabinet ministers) were not involved in the decision-making process, while others such as the war minister, the Chief of Staff and the Shin Bet chief, who knew Mishaal was the target, were not informed of the details of the operation. And all they shared was the failure of the assassination.

The third factor is related to the Mossad’s internal department, which dealt with this issue intensively, and found out there was a series of failures that constituted a reason for the accusations within the apparatus, as well as the termination of the tasks of almost all senior officials who were in charge of this issue in a few months.

Limor stressed that the lessons learned from the failure of the assassination should have been understood clearly in every similar decision-making process. At the political and the executive levels, not only were the immediate consequences of the failed assassination attempt far-reaching, but also some of which would remain forever, and could have been prevented if the Mossad agents had acted appropriately before, during, and after the assassination process.

The writer mentioned that some of the consequences of the of the assassination attempt, which included the release of the assassination team, the release of the founding leader of Hamas, Sheikh Yassin (who was assassinated seven years later) and dozens of other prisoners, and the outbreak of a diplomatic crisis with Canada after two Canadian passports were used in the attempt. Furthermore, relations with Jordan saw a downward trend cause the attempt took place on its territory.

Limor concluded his article by saying, “After 20 years, one wonders whether the lessons have really been learned. At the level of carrying out the assassination, the answer is certainly positive, despite the fact that there is no assurance in this type of work.”

Calls for assassination
In response to Limor’s article, the analyst of Israeli affairs at the PIC said, “The writer, despite acknowledging the failure of the assassination of Mishaal, is calling indirectly to assassinate him again, and urges Israel to carry out its criminal operations carefully.

According to Limor, the Israeli leadership is required to always look for a suitable environment to target Palestinian leaders, enhance its image, and strengthen its diplomatic and political relations with the Arab countries, in order to avoid future mistakes and in order not to pay high prices due to its failed operations.

The analyst concluded by wondering whether this article by the military writer is a proof that Israel may resort to targeting Khaled Mishaal at any future opportunity, or whether it wants to create an aura of fear regarding the performance of the Mossad, which carries out operations in different parts of the world.

(Source / 26.09.2017)

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