מקור ביטחוני: פקודה סודית של קבינט המלחמה, תחת הכותרת “תמחה את זכר עמלק”, מטילה על צה”ל והשב”כ למצוא ולהרוג את קרוביהם של ראשי חמאס ושל כל מי שהשתתפו במעשי הטבח
URGENT: This report is a major breaking news story. It is the kind of journalism you will not find anywhere else. It is reporting that takes you inside Israel’s military and intelligence apparatus to learn secrets they often don’t want you to know.
Tikun Olam is live-blogging the Gaza war.
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A well-informed Israeli security source tells Tikun Olam that the security cabinet has ordered the IDF and Shin Bet to assassinate all of Hamas’ leadership, the commanders who planned the attack on southern Israel and their families.
The directive was titled with the Biblical verse, תִּמְחֶה אֶת-זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק (“you shall eradicate any trace of Amalek”) in which Samuel commands King Saul to exterminate the entire tribe of Amalek, not even sparing children or the tribe’s livestock. All were to be slaughtered without mercy. When Saul spared its king and animals, Samuel denounced him and rejected him as king of Israel. The message is clear: Israel is to wage a Biblical war of extermination against Hamas. Anyone who shirks from their duty will know Saul’s fate.
The order, according to the source, is to “find and kill as many relatives as possible of Hamas’ members who carried out Oct. 7 massacres, and these senior officials: Mohammed Deif, Yahya Sinwar, Saleh al-Arouri, Khaled Mashal, Marwan Issa and Ismail Haniyeh.”
The same story was leaked to Ynet as well. But military censorship prevents Israeli media from reporting key elements of the story which I’ve reported here. It does not mention who gave the order for the assassinations and also omits that the families are also being targeted for death.
The headlines and graphics in the Ynet report are lurid and homicidal. They positively celebrate these potential assassinations. It’s the primordial cry of the predator on the hunt for prey. Accompanying photos of the targeted Hamas leaders :
Dead men walking: Six Hamas leaders who must pay with their lives for the massacre. [Hamas] Leaders in the gun-site.
As if genocide wasn’t bad enough, now Israel has become a psychotic serial killer. It is only a few steps away from a repetition of the Holocaust. This is how a nation becomes one that exterminates another–just as Samuel commanded Saul and the Israelites to eradicate the Amalekites. This is how Germany slid down rung by rung into Hitlerian Hell.
Israel has become a nation steeped in blood and mass murder. This is clearly what a Supreme Court justice called a “black flag order.” A command given to an army officer which is flagrantly illegal and must not be obeyed. But niceties like the black flag ruling are a thing of the pass. No order is too insane. All is permitted. Murder. Arson. Torture. There are no longer limits. No longer restraints.
So despite the clear hostility among the IDF senior command towards Netanyahu (and vice versa), it will most likely carry out the task. I wish I could say differently. That one among them will say: No. This is a red line I cannot cross. But I’m afraid I can’t say that.
There is a slim possibility that this leak is intended to intimidate Hamas; to put it on notice that Israel can take revenge on all the families of the leadership. It leaves them petrified that it will do so; petrified about when and how it will do so. But it also makes them wonder if it will do so. Is it a bluff? A game of psychological warfare with many lives in the balance? Or Israel going to do a Munich, but on a massive scale.
This decision wreaks of desperation; a wounded animal lashing out at its attackers. Like that beast, Israel is now beset on many fronts by enemies, waiting for it to launch its ground attack on Gaza. Iran has threatened to intervene should Israel invade the enclave. Its most powerful ally in the region, Hezbollah, has been launching probe attacks on IDF positions in the north for days. Israel has evacuated tens of thousands of residents of a score of towns near the Lebanese border. Iran has also activated its militia proxies in Iraq and Syria which have, for over a week, launched multiple drone attacks on US troops in both countries leaving 24 soldiers injured.
Iran’s Houthi allies in Yemen fired three cruise missiles and eight drones targeting Israel (over 1,000 miles away!). Most were shot down by the USS Carney in the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia also downed one of the them.
China has directed six of its warships to the Gulf as well. This may be the reason that Pres. Biden redirected one of the two carrier strike groups originally headed to the Mediterranean, to the Gulf instead. This development brings the US-China rivalry into the Middle East theater.
Once the Cold War pitted the US against Russia in a competition for global influence. This even included proxy wars like Vietnam. Can the world withstand another such rivalry, given the massive weapons at the command of both superpowers? Could a multi-party conflict like this ignite war? Do we want to wait to find out?
Israel’s security cabinet thinks the way to respond to Hamas is by eliminating everything and everyone connected to it. It believes that the world is disgusted enough by the 1,400 Israelis murdered that it will turn a blind eye to mass murder. Not just to the 5,000 Gaza civilians it has already killed (almost half of whom are children), but to scores of family members of the group’s leadership. It’s possible that Israeli propaganda has worked, and the world won’t raise its voice or stop it. My rule is never to underestimate the world’s ability to hide its head in the sand in the face of genocide.