Israel's Shin Bet chief vows to kill Hamas chiefs 'in Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar'
Israel is determined to kill Hamas’ leaders “in every location” in the world, including Qatar, Turkey, and Lebanon, even if it takes many years, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar said in recordings revealed Sunday.
“In every location, in Gaza, in the West Bank, in Lebanon, in Turkey, in Qatar, everyone,” he said in recordings aired by the Kan public broadcaster Sunday evening. “It will take a few years, but we will be there in order to do it.”
“The cabinet set a goal for us, to take out Hamas. And we are determined to do it, this is our Munich,” he could be heard saying in the recordings, referencing the years-long Israeli operation to assassinate the Palestinian militants responsible for the 1972 Munich Olympics attack that killed 11 Israelis.
Hamas has reportedly said that it is unfazed by Bar’s threats and that for Israel to carry them out would be a violation of allied countries’ sovereignty.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Israel is planning to hunt down Hamas leaders around the world once it shifts away from fighting the group in Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered spy agencies to draw up plans to assassinate the group’s top leaders outside of Gaza, who live in Turkey, Qatar, and elsewhere, the paper reported, citing Israeli officials.
According to the report, some called for Israel to immediately assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who lives in Doha, and others following the October 7 attack. However, such actions on Qatari or Turkish soil could have strained or torpedoed diplomatic efforts to free hostages, and the idea was pushed off.
Netanyahu hinted at Israel’s plans for assassinations abroad in an address in late November, to the ire of some, who preferred to keep the future campaign under wraps, according to the WSJ.
The paper also reported that Israel is looking into the possibility of expelling lower-level Hamas fighters from Gaza to shorten the war.