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Israel hopes to gain what, exactly, with its resumption of assassinations?

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In a surprise attack today, the Israeli air force assassinated Bahaa Abu Al-Ata, an Islamic Jihad military official in northern Gaza. Israel accused him of firing rockets. Al-Ata’s wife was also killed in the attack. The killings have prompted Palestinian resistance factions to threaten an immediate response.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) noted that the assassination was approved by “Prime Minister and Defence Minister” Benjamin Netanyahu. This means that it was approved before new Defence Minister Naftali Bennett took office.

In recent days, the security, military and political circles in Israel have clearly exaggerated Abu Al-Ata’s role in launching dozens of rocket-propelled grenades at Israeli settlements, coupled with warnings that he could be assassinated. Daily reports described him as being another Mohammed Deif, referring to the military commander of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. Others claim that he was the most dangerous person alongside Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah and Qasem Soleimani, a senior officer in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Israeli security and military officials reported that Abu Al-Ata was involved in planning attacks against the state, oversaw the manufacture of weapons and improved long-range rocket capabilities. He was said to be the decision-maker in firing rockets at Israeli settlements. The US imposed sanctions on him.

The assassination of Abu Al-Ata is only the tip of the iceberg of intensive Israeli attacks on Palestinians, the planning of which can take several months. Decisions to kill Palestinian resistance leaders come from the very top in Israel, namely the Prime Minister. They are not made spontaneously, but well in........

© Middle East Monitor