Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other members of the cabinet are said to be debating the idea of resuming assassinations of political and military leaders inside the Gaza Strip, with defense officials couching it as an effort to “halt rocket attacks.”
Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon is leading the push for the killings, saying that he believes assassinations lead to “extended periods of quiet.” Recently, however, killings at any level have provoked retaliation against Israel, and critics say the policy is just an invitation for endless escalation.
With escalation seemingly the whole point for a lot of the Israeli far-right, this isn’t necessarily a decisive argument against assassinations, and Likud MP Yariv Levin was loudly calling for the immediate assassination of Gaza’s prime minister, as well as demanding the expulsion of his opponent, an opposition MP, from the Knesset for criticizing government policy.
The use of region-wide assassinations as part of their day-to-day “diplomacy” has led to harsh criticism of Israel, and particularly the use of stolen and forged neutral-country passports in some of the past killings has made them doubly hard for the international community to swallow. This has led, in recent months, to Israel moving away from this policy as part of an effort to try to repair their standing. Limiting the operations just to Gaza may limit the fallout somewhat, but not entirely