Doomed Hamas Man Lured Into Sense of Security

Military Chief Al-Jabaari Thought Truce Would Hold

Marked Man: Slain Hamas military chief Ahmad Al-Jabaari may have been lulled into a false sense of security.
getty images
Marked Man: Slain Hamas military chief Ahmad Al-Jabaari may have been lulled into a false sense of security.

By Reuters

Published November 15, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

It was at that meeting, political sources said, that a Shin Bet plan to assassinate Jaabari was approved and the first act of deception was played out: Benny Begin, a member of the forum, went on Israeli radio to say the current round of violence appeared to be over.

Hamas apparently bought the message. Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the group, said Israel, in launching the offensive, had violated an informal truce brokered by mediators.

“The factions abided by the understanding of calm, and the occupation (Israel) bears the responsibility for the consequences that will follow the ugly crime,” he said.

Israel had largely suspended assassinations of top Hamas men in recent years, strikes that could have triggered wider violence along the Gaza frontier.

It focused instead on targeting rocket launching crews in low-intensity warfare marked by cyclical cross-border exchanges usually calmed by Egyptian-mediated ceasefires.

But a looming January national election had increased public pressure on the right-wing Netanyahu to take stronger military action in Gaza to rein in Hamas. A successful campaign could also be a boon for Barak, whose small party, opinion polls show, might not even win enough votes to be returned to parliament.

The initial outlook at home for the two leaders was good: Jaabari’s killing and the start of the offensive drew nearly across-the-board political support from Netanyahu’s rivals, who suspended campaigning in a display of national unity.

Israel used similar ruses to conceal its plans before launching its three-week Gaza war in December 2008.

Days before that offensive began, Barak - defence minister then, as now - made an unusual and unannounced live appearance on a top-rated TV satire show, giving the impression that starting a war could not be further from his mind.

In another twist at the time, officers were summoned from garrisons around Gaza to a weekend with their families at a countryside spa. All but the most senior of those invited commanders were then surprised to be woken up, that Saturday morning, and sent back to base for combat within hours.

With JTA


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • How do you make people laugh when they're fighting on the front lines or ducking bombs?
  • "Hamas and others have dredged up passages form the Quran that demonize Jews horribly. Some imams rail about international Jewish conspiracies. But they’d have a much smaller audience for their ravings if Israel could find a way to lower the flames in the conflict." Do you agree with J.J. Goldberg?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.