Palestinian PM not immune to reprisal: Israel | india | Hindustan Times
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Palestinian PM not immune to reprisal: Israel

Israel estimates that Haniyeh, as a political leader of the anti-Israeli Hamas group, is not involved at this point in planning attacks against Israel.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2006 12:44 IST

A senior Israeli official said on Monday that Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh could be an Israeli target if he engages in attacks against Israel.

Israel estimates that Haniyeh, as a political leader of the anti-Israeli Hamas group, is not involved at this point in planning attacks against Israel, said Tzahi Hanegbi, chairman of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

But if Haniyeh begins directing the Hamas' military wing's declared plans to attack Israel, he could be a target, Hanegbi told Army Radio. Haniyeh could meet the same fate as Hamas militants Sheik Ahmed Yassin, and his successor, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, who were killed in Israeli missile strikes in 2004, Hanegbi said.

"Rantisi and Yassin are waiting for you Haniyeh if you take the same position of killing Jews and of striking indiscriminately with suicide attacks that will try once again to freeze Israeli society," Hanegbi said.

Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz also suggested on Sunday that Haniyeh could be a target, saying that any one involved in attacks against Israel will not be immune from retaliatory strikes.

Hamas rules the Palestinian Authority after winning elections in January. The group's military wing has killed more than 250 Israelis in attacks but largely kept a truce declared in February 2005 until it began last month engaging in rocket attacks against Israel.