גורם ביטחוני ישראלי: משת”פים של ישראל בעזה הם שהתנקשו בבכיר הזרוע הצבאית של חמאס
Today, Israel assassinated a former Palestinian prisoner freed in the 2011 Gilad Shalit exchange. He was Mazen Fuqaha, and described as a senior Hamas militant in Gaza. The Islamist group denounced the murder and attributed it to “Israel and its collaborators.” This indicates that the killing, carried out near the victim’s house by men using silencers, employed Palestinians rather than Israelis as the killer. An Israeli security source has confirmed this to me.
When the source first told me about this killing, I was quite skeptical and remain so, though less than I was originally. Very, very few Israeli assassinations have been done via collaborators. Some Palestinians believe, though it’s never been proven, that Yasser Arafat’s food was poisoned by a collaborator within his inner circle recruited by Israel.
How does Shabak recruit a Palestinian to do such a thing? How do they train them? How do they trust them? Then after the act, how do they hide them or facilitate their escape from Gaza?
Second, why kill in this way? Why not use a drone, which is a much more common way of assassinating Palestinian militants? This method is cleaner and easier (from the Israeli point of view). That’s why Obama chose it over having boots on the ground in the fight against ISIS and al Qaeda.
If not by drone, then why not an Israeli killer? After all, you know and trust someone you trained yourself to do the job. You can plan the operation in detail and then execute it. Of course, it’s more difficult to insert and extract an Israeli agent from Gaza in such circumstances and there is a danger the killer could be apprehended.
The only reason I can think of to take on these risks is to instill fear and mistrust within the ranks of Hamas’ leadership. If a Palestinian can murder one of his own, then who is safe? If Israel can do this, then what can’t it do? This is a form of psychological warfare. Tear down the enemy, make him mistrust everyone he once trusted with his life.
My problem with this is it never works. It’s playing a game with the enemy. Treating it like moving pieces on a chessboard, rather than like flesh and blood human beings. Israel has always been guilty of treating its enemies like this. As if they could be manipulated. As if a killing or even a war could destroy their will to fight. When nothing can–except justice.
When I receive information from a source, I subject it to intense scrutiny. I understand a source has an interest just as I do. I don’t wish to advance my source’s interest at the expense of my own. That is why I sometimes will express skepticism about information offered to me. I may know the facts I’ve been given are accurate, but the interpretation that accompanies them will sometimes diverge from mine.
As I understand it, Israel targeted Fuqaha because after he was released he returned to militancy and planning acts of terror in the West Bank. There are others among the 1,100 released who’ve done the same. The message is that any of them who have returned to the path of violence are targets.
But knowing that the West Bank has been extremely quiet, I wondered what specific acts of terror had Fuqaha planned or executed. All the source would say is that while the victim may not have successfully executed such acts, operatives he recruited were captured and interrogated and testified they transferred funds from Gaza at his direction to the West Bank to finance terror operations.
If that’s all the Shabak had on him, then I suspect both their motives and judgment. To me, it appears they’re settling scores that involve the acts of terror he committed (a suicide blast killing nine Israelis) before he was imprisoned. Or they’re targeting those released under the Shalit deal saying: we will kill you when and where we want just because…because you got away, because we exact revenge on our enemies. It doesn’t seem a strategy, but rather a Mafia code of vengeance.
Why do you do it? Not because it will bring about any real change. But because you’ve got to face the prime minister, the security cabinet and the Israeli people and tell them you’re doing something to keep them safe. Notching another Indian scalp on your gun barrel worked in the Wild West. Why not in Israel?
In 2014, Shabak told Israel Hayom about these former prisoners who’d become Hamas commanders after release and were planning new kidnappings of Israelis or acts of terror. It mentioned then that Fuqaha was at the top of its list (though at the time it didn’t mention it would seek to liquidate him). The article also mentions two others Hamas militants, Salah Aruri and Abed al-Rahman. One suspects they’ve been on the same wanted list Shabak devised which used to include Fuqaha.
“Why do you do it? Not because it will bring about any real change. But because you’ve got to face the prime minister, the security cabinet and the Israeli people and tell them you’re doing something to keep them safe”
Or, because he is actively involved in acts of terror in a way that posts a real and immediate danger. If revenge for crimes committed before he was imprisoned were the motive, than there are released prisoners that committed much greater crimes and should be higher on the list. People such as Abd al-Hadi Rafa Ghanim who killed 16 Israelis in the 405 bus attack. Or Aziz Salha that got infamous for his involvement in the lynching of the Two Israeli soldiers in Ramalla.
So my guess is that there was intel on this guy being a major threat.
And as this guy murdered 9 innocent people (one was himself a Palestinian and 2 were from the Philippines), I am not particularly sad that he was killed. He spent less than one year in prison for each human being he killed and that is not enough. In the USA (at lest in certain states) he would have got the death penalty.
Richard Silverstein says
@ Amico: Now you see, you’ve really screwed up because I offered an actual Shabak source which named the victim & said that he tried to finance (not execute) a terror attack, but that those who were supposed to carry the funds from Gaza to the West Bank were captured & gave him up. And all this happened in 2012-13. Further, this is a Shabak source. Might be correct, might not.
So no, the victim failed miserably in his goal of organizing a terror attack. Besides, there is absolutely no evidence presented that he actually organized an attack. It only mentions financing one. So according to that logic, the U.S. should summarily execute not only actual ISIS or al Qaeda killers, but the bankers and oil dealers and traders who finance their actions.
You, on the other hand claim without any support whatsoever that he was “actively involved in acts of terror posing a real and immediate danger” Your proof? None. My source claims he was “involved in terror.” But he never offered any specific proof either. So I’ll stick with the actual published claim.
There’s your 2nd mistake. Don’t guess. I have a source who I often trust, but about whom I’m sometimes skeptical. You have none. We attribute no credibility whatsoever to guesses.
When someone murders your son or daughter or cousin or grandchild serving in the IDF or in Israeli intelligence, even I wouldn’t say that. Which makes you as much scum as you think the victim is. Would you be not particularly sad at the murder of Avraham Stern? Or Menachem Begin if the Brits had liquidated him? No of course you wouldn’t. You’d view them as heroes. The same as Hamas now views Fuqaha. Again, that makes you a friggin’ hypocrite and racist to boot.
Doubtful. No U.S. terrorist except Timothy McVeigh (decades ago) has gotten the death penalty. And he was a federal prisoner, not state. States don’t normally have jurisdiction over terror charges. That’s a federal offense. And the last federal prisoner executed on any charge (& this case wasn’t terror-related) happened in 2003.
When someone murders your son or daughter or cousin or grandchild serving in the IDF or in Israeli intelligence, even I wouldn’t say that. Which makes you as much scum as you think the victim is. Would you be not particularly sad at the murder of Avraham Stern? Or Menachem Begin if the Brits had liquidated him? No of course you wouldn’t. You’d view them as heroes. The same as Hamas now views Fuqaha. Again, that makes you a friggin’ hypocrite and racist to boot.”
Wow. So, now you can read my mind? If you really want to know-simply ask-
First of all, I wouldn’t be particularly sad if Begin would have been killed following the King David bombing, nor would the majority of the Jewish population in Palestine. In fact I was quite pleased when I learned that the man who actually committed the bombing died prematurely in a car accident in the seventies. See, anyone, and I mean anyone who purposely murders innocent people (regardless of his race, nationality or motive) is a scum as much as I am concerned. I would prefer such a person will be imprisoned for life as i am not a huge supporter of capital punishment. But if such person managed to get away from imprisonment I am quite O.K with his death.
As for this “victim” being a “hero” in the eyes of anyone instead of the scum he was:
Something is very wrong morally with anyone who may think that a man who purposely killed 9 innocent people on a civilian bus is a hero. The Palestinian sniper who killed 10 IDF soldiers and armed civilians in Wadi al-Haramiya was a legitimate fighter and is entitled to be referred to as a hero by his people (though one of his victims, the CO of the soldiers, was a man I knew and liked). But those who bomb civilian buses and restaurants? can’t you see the difference for god sake? and do you really compare between such a scum and my daughter if her only crime would be serving in the IDF? If she murders 9 innocent people (God forbis) than you have my permission not to be too sad if she dies. I will be, but its different when you are the parent.
As for the reason this huy was killed -I did not make any factual claims as I have no sources what so ever. Nor did I implied to. You have a source you yourself are not 100% sure about his credibility and motives. There might be much more to the story, and that is where I come and use my logic to make a calculated guess. Which is what you do in this site all the time (including when it comes to what i would think or feel, apparently…).
As for capital punishment for terrorists in the USA- you forget a certain guy who plant bombs in the Boston Marathon. Got the death penalty in 2015. Anyway, in the USA murders routinely get he death penalty regardless of their motives and that is what I was thinking of.
Richard Silverstein says
Something is very morally wrong with Israeli Jews who’ve killed hundreds of innocent Palestinian who were civilians, from before 1948 & up to the present day. Something is very morally wrong with a nation which treats them as heroes.
Fuqaha doesn’t have the option of serving in a Palestinian national army. He does the next best thing. So if you have a relative serving in the army or in intelligence, then yes, you should be prepared to be treated the same exact way you treat Fuqaha on his death.
Not true. I’m certain of his credibility and also of his motives. It’s just that I disagree with his motives and have to filter his information through my own set of interests.
Not routinely. Even in execution-happy states like Alabama and Texas, it’s not routine. But thankfully, there are very few states which are execution-happy. Eventually, we will outlaw execution. In Israel, you have it routinely, but without judge or jury. Just the executioner in uniform.
You are done in this thread.
“You are done in this thread”
And you are a coward that knows his arguments are BS and does not want them exposed as such. Now you can ban me for violeting your rules. I am done with your blog. We shall perhaps debate again in the future on equal ground.
Richard Silverstein says
You are done…and banned. Hasbara Central has purchased your return ticket to Ben Gurion. Pick it up from the shady Shabak agent at the airline counter before departure.
If you think u are capable of exposing anything other than your own feeble Hasbara efforts, you are sorely mistaken.
[Comment deleted: violation of comment rules.]
Richard Silverstein says
@ Jim: You don’t have any particular ‘interests’ of your own, do you? Mine are justice, tolerance, democracy and truth. Yours are not.