Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri, a former head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), said that the Hamas leadership in Gaza wants a cease-fire, but Khaled Mashaal, who resides abroad in Qatar is preventing it.

Speaking in an interview with Army Radio, Peri said, "The targeted assassinations have caused Hamas in the last week to covet a cease-fire," referring to IDF strikes which killed three senior Hamas commanders in Rafah last week. The IDF also targeted Hamas military chief Muhammad Deif, but it remained unclear if he was killed in the strike.

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Peri said that the targeted assassinations hurt Hamas's chain of command as well as striking a blow to the morale of the organization.

"Those chosen to replace [assassinated commanders] are not always at the military level that Hamas requires," Peri said.

He said that it was very "comfortable for Mashaal to be "stubborn" and not agree to a cease-fire, "while he's sitting in a hotel in Qatar, rather than dodging bombs in Gaza."

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