After a botched 1997 assassination attempt in Amman on Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, Israel was pressured by Jordan to supply an antidote to the poison the Mossad operatives had sprayed him with.

If the assassination had succeeded would his successor have been more moderate? Without him, would Hamas have dared embark on this summer’s Gaza onslaught? Would a cease-fire and long-term agreement have been reached quicker? Would Jordan really have cut off diplomatic ties with Israel as it threatened to 17 years ago? Historians say these questions are not relevant but they surely are food for thought.

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