Haaretz israel news English
Last update - 09:06 04/02/2009             
Minister Boim: Only way to stop Gaza rockets is to kill Haniyeh
By Haaretz Service
Tags: israel news, ismail haniyeh 

Housing and Construction Minister Ze'ev Boim on Wednesday said that Israel must 
assassinate Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh in order to stop the 
continuation of rocket fire, Army Radio reported.

"As long as Hamas rules in Gaza and carries out terror from there, not just 
against Israel but against the civilian population in the strip, rockets will 
continue to strike Israel," Boim said.

According to Boim, killing Haniyeh could bring about a similar response to the 
one that followed the assassination of another group leader, Sheikh Ahmed 
Yassin in 2004. While that attack brought about fierce international criticism, 
it also brought about a long period of perplexity, Boim said.
A public call such as Boim's could contribute to serious security threats and 
could also cause Haniyeh and other Hamas leaders to go deeper into hiding, 
making it more difficult for Israel to target them.

Former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon lambasted Boim for 
making such a declaration. "We have many options, and in Boim's place, I would 
not have brought them into the public eye," he told Army Radio.

Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz has also threatened to assassinate Hamas Haniyeh 
and other Hamas leaders, as Kadima kicked off its election campaign in Sderot 
late last month.

"As long as [abducted Israeli soldier] Gilad Shalit doesn't see the light of 
day, you won't see the light of day. As long as Shalit doesn't go free, you and 
your friends will not be free. We won't hesitate to send you on the the way we 
sent Yassin and Rantissi," he said, referring to previous Hamas leaders.

Shalit has been in Palestinian captivity since he was seized by militants from 
Gaza, including Hamas, in a cross-border raid in June 2006.

Mofaz's hard-line stance is part of Kadima's efforts to improve its image in 
the campaign, following Kadima leader and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's 
decline in the polls after the war in Gaza. 

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