UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Israeli intelligence minister Yisrael Katz threatened to target Hamas leaders if the group carried out operations against Israeli targets abroad.
Kats’s statement came as a reaction to the assassination of Palestinian engineer Fadi al-Batsh in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, accusing Hamas of responsibility for the attack.
“If Hamas carries out operations abroad against Israelis, Israel will target the movement’s leaders,” Katz, who is also a member of the Israeli cabinet, told the Yediot Ahronot daily on Sunday.
“I advise Haniyeh not to talk too much and to be cautious,” said Hamas political bureau head Ismail Haniya.
In response to Haniyeh statement that “Mossad transferred the battle between the two parties outside the occupied territories,” Katz added: “Gaza is much closer to Malaysia.” He recalled that he had previously threatened to target Hamas leaders after posting videos showing Palestinian snipers of Israeli military commanders near the perimeter fence In Gaza.
Cats stressed that Israel may return to the policy of assassinating Palestinian leaders, and Haniyeh will be among them.
“Haniyeh and his colleagues have to be more careful, and they have to think a thousand times that Israel’s access to them will be firm, tough and fast.”
“Israel does not address such incidents, but as it was published about the activities of this person, it is clear that Israel will not shed a tear,” Katz said.
“There are parties other than Israel in the region who see Hamas as part of the Iranian axis of evil,” he said. “Those interests, such as Israel, have an interest in undermining Hamas’ capabilities.”
“Hamas is trying to develop its underground capabilities, as well as missiles and aircraft, and Israel must prevent this happening so that it does not pose a threat to the State of Israel,” the Israeli security official said.
The Malaysian police announced earlier the assassination of Palestinian engineer Fadi al-Batsh, “the launch of about 10 bullets at him near his home in the capital Kuala Lumpur.