Israel threatens to resume targeted assassinations - report

Egyptian security officials visit the Gaza Strip to discuss preserving the ceasefire with Israel.

The home of Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata after it was hit by the Israeli strike that killed him, in Gaza City on November 12, 2019 (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS)
The home of Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata after it was hit by the Israeli strike that killed him, in Gaza City on November 12, 2019
(photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS)

Israel has threatened to resume targeted assassinations in the Gaza Strip and abroad in response to the recent spate of terrorist attacks in the West Bank, Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Akhbar reported Monday.

The alleged threat was relayed to Hamas by Egyptian security officials who are currently visiting the Gaza Strip, the newspaper said.

Hamas officials did not immediately comment on the report.

Two delegations of intelligence officers and civil engineers arrived in the Gaza Strip for talks with Hamas officials on ways of preserving the ceasefire with Israel and advancing plans to rebuild the coastal enclave in the aftermath of the Israel-Hamas war seven months ago.

The intelligence delegation, which consists of four senior officers from Egypt’s General Intelligence Service, entered the Gaza Strip through the Erez border crossing with Israel.

 Palestinians arrive to cross into Gaza at the Erez Crossing between Israel and Gaza on September 3, 2015. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Palestinians arrive to cross into Gaza at the Erez Crossing between Israel and Gaza on September 3, 2015. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

The civilian delegation, which includes engineers and journalists, crossed into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing.

Hamas expressed to the Egyptians its displeasure at Cairo’s failure to fulfill its promises to ease travel restrictions imposed on the Palestinians living there, Al-Akhbar quoted unnamed sources as saying.

The Egyptians did not propose anything new during their visit to the Gaza Strip, Mustafa al-Sawwaf, a Hamas-affiliated political analyst, was quoted as saying.

“The purpose of the visit is to inspect the so-called Egyptian projects in the Gaza Strip, which are not among the tasks of the security delegation, although the entire Palestinian file is within the jurisdiction of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service,” he said. “This is how files are managed in Egypt regarding Gaza.”

Egypt has pledged $500 million to assist in postwar reconstruction efforts in the Gaza Strip.

The visit of the Egyptian officials to the Gaza strip came as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad warned they were running out of patience because of Israeli “foot-dragging” regarding the lifting of the blockade. The groups also said Israel’s “practices” in the West Bank and Jerusalem would lead to further escalation.