ARABS ISRAEL - Jun 22- Israel Revives Assassination Policy.
As both Palestinians and Israelis hardened their stances, resurgent violence has raised the specter of disruption to Israel's planned August withdrawal from Gaza and dimmed hopes for "road map" peace talks afterward. Word that the assassination policy had been dusted off came with Israeli confirmation of a failed missile strike while Sharon and Abbas were holding tense talks in Jerusalem. "An opportunity presented itself. Any means to neutralise the organization are relevant and possible", Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra said. Islamic Jihad has resumed mortar bomb and rocket salvoes against Jewish settlements in Gaza in what it calls retaliation for continued Israeli raids to capture wanted fighters. "The attempt yesterday to kill an Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza signaled the resumption of the targeted killing policy", an Israeli security source told Reuters. Khaled Al-Batsh, a senior Islamic Jihad leader, warned of "terrible consequences" if Israel carried out assassinations. "The calm would thereby end. We will not be dictated to by Israel", he said in Gaza. Withdrawing from Gaza under fire would be political poison for Sharon, strengthening rightist foes who have said the pullout would be perceived by the Palestinians and Arab world as a sign of weakness after four years of bloodshed. "Israel will act in a very resolute manner to prevent terror attacks ... while the disengagement is being implemented", said Eival Giladi, head of the government team co-ordinating the plan.
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|Publication:||APS Diplomat Recorder|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2005|
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