Israeli defense minister: Gaza assassination in line with terms of November truce

Moshe Ya’alon says the Gaza militant killed by the Israel Air Force on Tuesday was involved in the rocket attack on Eilat two weeks ago, adds that Israel has the right to defense itself against terrorism.

Smoke rises after Israeli air strikes in Gaza - Reuters - November 14, 2012.

Smoke rises after Israeli air strikes in the northern Gaza Strip, Nov. 14, 2012.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Tuesday that Israel has a right to respond to terror, referring to the targeted killing of a Gaza militant whom Israel suspects of involvement in the rocket attack on the southern city ofEilat two weeks ago.

“When an organization fires in our direction, we respond,” Ya’alon said. “We will not allow a trickle of rockets from the Gaza Strip, and we will certainly not allow for terrorists to leave Gaza and attack Eilat. ”

In the first targeted assassination since Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, Israel Air Force jets killed Hitham Ziyad Ibrahim Mishal, 24, resident of Shati, a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip Tuesday morning. According to the Shin Bet, Mishal was “a cornerstone of terrorism in the Gaza Strip, specializing in arms.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Mishal was involved in the Eilat attack two weeks ago, in which two rockets fell on Israel’ southern most city, causing no casualties or damage.

Ya’alon said that in killing Mishal, Israel acted according to its declarations in the Pillar of Defense cease-fire agreement.

“Since the terror attack originated in the Gaza Strip, we acted accordingly, and carried out a targeted assassination as response in order to prevent another one from happening,” he said. “If terror the Gaza Strip ends, we will not have to act, but if the terror attacks continue, we will have to defend ourselves, including through targeted assassinations.”

Mishal is said to have manufactured, improved and traded in various weapons, especially rockets and improvised bombs, which he passed on to different terrorist groups in Gaza, both for economic profit and to promote terrorism.

During his visit to the Israel Air Force on Tuesday withIsrael Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, the defense minister also spoke about the West Bank terror attack at Tapuach Junction earlier in the day, in which Yitzhar settler Eviatar Borovzky was stabbed to death.

According to IDF estimates the assailant acted alone without an established terrorist infrastructure supporting him.

“We do not accept any terror attack, and we will do what we can to improve the security of residents of Judea and Sumaria,” Ya’alon said.

(Source / 30.04.2013)

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