In order to stop Kassam rocket attacks launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has ordered his security chiefs to target the Hamas political leadership, the British Sunday Times newspaper reported on Sunday. The Times said that according to Israeli security sources, a decision to assassinate leading Hamas officials was made by Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz.
'Israel perpetuating destruction'
According to the report, Israel was determined to ensure that the group's political leadership in Gaza, the West Bank and abroad would "no longer escape responsibility" for the rocket attacks.
Kassam rockets have rained down on Israel on a regular basis even after the IDF withdrew from Gaza, recently prompting Sderot schools to strike and a mass evacuation of youngsters from the town.
Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last Tuesday that although the number of terror attacks in the year following disengagement had decreased, "the important thing to look at is the amount of weapons being smuggled into the Strip and the significant strengthening of Hamas as a result of disengagement."
Committee members and MKs have been urging more action by the IDF following the Kassam hit on Sderot last week that killed one woman and seriously wounded two other residents of the city.