Tuesday, March 07, 2006
By AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press Writer -- Tuesday, 47 minutes ago
JERUSALEM - 's defense minister warned Tuesday that Hamas leaders, including the incoming Palestinian prime minister, will not be immune from pinpointed Israeli killings if the Islamic militant group were to resume its attacks.
The minister, Shaul Mofaz, center left, spoke a day after an Israeli airstrike against an ice cream truck killed two Islamic Jihad militants and three bystanders, including two children, in Gaza City.
Hamas, which is sworn to Israel's destruction, swept January parliamentary elections and is in the process of forming a Cabinet. It has rejected international calls to renounce its violent, anti-Israel ideology, but has maintained a year-old moratorium on suicide bombings.
Mofaz told Israel's Army Radio that Israel's policy of targeted killings has proven to be effective, and will continue. "There is no question about its efficacy," Mofaz said. "Look what happened to Hamas in the years it conducted an untrammeled suicide bombing war against us. When we started the targeted killings, the situation changed, he said. "We will continue the targeted killings at this pace," Mofaz added. "No one will be immune."
Asked if incoming Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh would be a target if Hamas were to resume attacks, Mofaz replied: "If Hamas, a terror organization that doesn't recognize agreements with us and isn't willing to renounce violence, presents us with the challenge of having to confront a terror organization, then no one there will be immune. Not just Ismail Haniyeh. No one will be immune."
Salah al-Bardawil, a Hamas spokesman, denounced Mofaz's comments. "This statement and Israeli practices on the ground reflect the bloody, inhumane and inflammatory character of the Zionist enemy," al-Bardawil said. "We are not seeking immunity or mercy from Israel. We are in a confrontation. The side that is most steadfast is the side that will survive."
Full AP-Yahoo News story. D.H.: God help us; what an idiot!
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