Israel has continued its recent string of wash out targeted assassinations in Gaza with the attempted murder of Mohammed Deif and his fellow Hamas militant commanders yesterday. While meeting with the top leaders of Hamas’ military wing in a Gaza apartment house, the IDF launched missiles entirely destroying the building. Deif escaped wounded. The host of the meeting, a local Hamas leader, was killed along with his wife and five of his children. Fifteen others were injured as another Haaretz article notes:
The leadership of Izz A-Din Al-Kassam [Hamas’ militant wing] were meeting in the home of Nabil Abu Salamia, an Islamic University lecturer and well-known Hamas political activist. In the early morning hours, a bomb dropped by IAF fell on the house and destroyed it, apparently hitting the bedrooms and not the rooms in which the meeting took place, allowing the military leaders to escape. They may have been in a cellar or bomb shelter in the home.
Deif, wanted since the early 90s, was apparently wounded in the back. He was operated on at Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital and no details of his condition were released. Eyewitnesses reported Deif was unable to stand when he was taken out of the ruined structure. About six minutes after the explosion, a car full of Hamas operatives arrived on the scene to extract the injured, but the car was also hit by IAF missiles and some of its passengers injured.
The IAF strike killed seven people and wounded top Hamas commander Mohammed Deif, Palestinians said.
The seven dead were all members of the same family – two parents, including senior Gaza Hamas figure Dr. Nabil al-Salmiah, and their five children…
From the force of the blast, the three-story structure collapsed, burying people under the rubble. The family killed in the strike was on the house’s upper floor. Hamas activists said additional victims might be buried in the basement.
Could the IDF not have known there was a bomb shelter in the home in which the militants would’ve taken shelter? Can they not have known that by dropping a bomb on the building’s roof that they would incinerate the civilians sleeping in the bedroom immediately underneath the roof? This reminds me of the IDF’s successful assassination of an earlier Hamas figure, Saleh Shehadeh, in which they annihilated a multi-story apartment building in order to kill one man, while also killing 15 civilians in the process. Human rights attorneys are compiling a legal case against the IDF commander of that operation. Can such a case be far for Dan Halutz and whichever commander planned this botched operation?
In the Deif attempt, one potentially “guilty” party killed who wasn’t even a target of the raid to six civilians. A casualty ratio to be proud of! When will Israel realize that targeted assassination is a wantonly brutal operation which almost always kills or injures innocents? Probably never. They never seem to learn anything from their mistakes. At least not anything worthwhile.
So much for all the talk of a possible negotiated deal for the release of Gilad Shalit. If Israel tries to murder the commander of the group which holds him can anyone really believe that Israel plans to accede to such an agreement? Either Israel never intended to make a deal or it did but the deal went south. Either way we’re in for a terribly long, drawn out process involving Shalit and the Gaza invasion. This will end neither soon nor well.