Israel takes out three top Hamas commanders after cease-fire violation

posted at 4:01 pm on August 21, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Actually, the number of top commanders killed since Hamas ended the last cease-fire may be four. Israel insists its airstrikes killed Mohammed Deif, the chief of their armed wing and one of the main stumbling blocks to peaceful coexistence, but Hamas says the IDF only got his wife and daughter. Regardless, Israel has sent an unmistakable message with the confirmed deaths of three other high-ranking commanders:

Israeli warplanes killed three top Hamas commanders in southern Gaza on Thursday, inflicting a heavy blow on the movement’s armed wing after failing to kill its top military chief.

As the six-week war between Israel and Hamas raged on, leaving Egyptian mediated truce talks in tatters, warplanes pounded Gaza killing three members of the Islamist movement’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

The Brigades said they were “senior commanders,” identifying them as Mohammed Abu Shamala, Raed al-Atar and Mohammed Barhum and vowing to make Israel pay. …

Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency described Atar and Shamala as being among the top five most wanted Hamas militants.

Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon hailed their deaths as “a big operational and intelligence achievement” and warned that Israel would not hesitate to track down the rest of the group’s leaders.

In apparent retaliation, Hamas has again threatened attacks on Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport:

 A Hamas warning to foreign airlines to halt flights into Tel Aviv was to take effect Thursday as a six-week war with Israel spiralled into further bloodshed after truce talks collapsed.

The warning came as Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of air strikes across Gaza again on Wednesday in response to multiple rocket attacks on southern Israel, as nine days of calm exploded into bloodshed.

The UN Security Council demanded that both sides return to the negotiating table in Cairo:

The UN Security Council later urged Israel and the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table to quickly agree on a lasting truce in Gaza.

In a unanimously adopted statement, the 15-member council “called upon the parties to resume negotiations to urgently reach a sustainable and lasting ceasefire”.

The problem with that demand is that Hamas doesn’t want a cease-fire unless it’s entirely on their terms — but they’re losing the war and the diplomatic game on top of it. The UNSC might need to direct their imperatives to Qatar, which reportedly scuttled the previous cease-fire by forcing Hamas to stick to its hard line unless Egypt offered the Qataris a seat at that table. Israel had offered some concessions in order to get a stable truce in place, but Hamas refused to bend, and ended up breaking the cease-fire unilaterally. In other words, this isn’t a situation in which both sides need to be lectured equally.

The target selection sends a big message, too. For the past several weeks, the Israelis had for the most part resigned themselves to a continuing Hamas presence, in part over fear of what might follow in its place. One need look no farther than the northern Iraqi desert to contemplate the answer to that question. Now, though, Israel seems more committed to decisively breaking Hamas rather than the “mowing the lawn” strategy early in this war. The tunnels may have convinced them, or more likely the large plot for a coup against the Palestinian Authority, but either way the specific targeting of top leadership sends a message that Israel has dispensed with worrying about the pessimistic options and now want Hamas out of the way entirely. The futility of the latest round of talks can’t have helped, either.

And it raises perhaps another, more critical question for Hamas leadership, at least those still above room temperature. How did the IDF get such good intel on the whereabouts of its leadership in Gaza, anyway? The IDF withdrew its ground troops a couple of weeks ago, which has to have limited those intel capabilities somewhat. It might be that the Israelis and the Egyptians aren’t the only people looking to get Hamas out of Gaza — and the longer Hamas prolongs this war, the more that Gazans may have a hand in ending it for good via the IDF.


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Nice shooting. Please continue.

NOMOBO on August 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Feel good story of the DAY!!!

geojed on August 21, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Chumps, for you

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2014 at 4:06 PM

+1

everdiso on August 21, 2014 at 3:23 PM

#smartpower

everdiso on August 21, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Clearly, according to the wisdom of Joe Scarborough, Benjamin Netanyahu simply can devastate Hamas by playing a round of golf.

Reuben Hick on August 21, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Nice target groupings!!

canopfor on August 21, 2014 at 4:10 PM

pound ‘em til they cry and then pound ‘em for crying

My Israeli buddy has some terrible videos of Hamas torturing Gazans for not wanting to have remote controlled bomb vests strapped to themselves. My hunch is Gazans would like a do over on the Jimmah Carter backed election of Hamas.

DanMan on August 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM

According to wki, population of Gaza was 1,657,155.
So only 1,657,152 more to go…..

dentarthurdent on August 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/israeli-palestinian-conflict/

Gaza, PS
5h

Photo: Tens of thousands of Palestinians march at the funeral of 3 senior Hamas commanders killed in an Israeli air strike in the Gaza strip on Thursday; they were the highest-ranking casualties Hamas has announced since Israel started its offensive 6 weeks ago – @Reuters, @LazSim

https://twitter.com/LazSim/status/502417696340721664/photo/1

canopfor on August 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Sweet – maybe they should take the lead against ISIS

gophergirl on August 21, 2014 at 4:14 PM

After they finish with Hamas maybe they can go over and destroy ISIS since no one else seems to want to.

crankyoldlady on August 21, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Nothing says lovin’ like something in the oven.

Tard on August 21, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Maybe when IDF is done with Gaza, they give tips to bams on how to get things done.
O/T – Unbelievable stupid questions being asked by press during Hagel briefing.
Example: “What is the ISIL threat to America?”

31giddyup on August 21, 2014 at 4:20 PM

I love a story with a happy ending.

OAN: Israel kills the terrorist leaders. Obama lets the terrorist leader out of prison.

Smart Power!!!!1111!!!!elebinty in action.

jukin3 on August 21, 2014 at 4:20 PM

More please, faster.

rbj on August 21, 2014 at 4:20 PM

I hope this didn’t give jewfreeordie and jewhater79 a sad.

HumpBot Salvation on August 21, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Damn, can you guys fit any more ads on the page? The big green Stands Tall ads in both margins is annoying as hell.

BacaDog on August 21, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Photo: Tens of thousands of Palestinians march at the funeral of 3 senior Hamas commanders killed in an Israeli air strike in the Gaza strip on Thursday

bomb the sh*t out of all the people at the funeral.

Rinse and repeat..soon all gone!

txdoc on August 21, 2014 at 4:24 PM

The JihadyGoons:

Pinned Tweet
IDF @IDFSpokesperson · 8h

Overnight, we killed Mohammed Abu Shamlah and Raed Attar and ended their career of terrorism.

https://twitter.com/IDFSpokesperson/status/502428912492609537/photo/1

canopfor on August 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Only 3?

docflash on August 21, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Photo: Tens of thousands of Palestinians march at the funeral of 3 senior Hamas commanders killed in an Israeli air strike in the Gaza strip on Thursday

bomb the sh*t out of all the people at the funeral.

Rinse and repeat..soon all gone!

YES!

vnvet on August 21, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Now head to Qatar and take out the billionaire leaders of Hamas.

albill on August 21, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Photo: Tens of thousands of Palestinians march at the funeral of 3 senior Hamas commanders killed in an Israeli air strike in the Gaza strip on Thursday;
canopfor on August 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Seems like a missed opportunity for the IDF.

But strong work on taking out the three or four leaders.

talkingpoints on August 21, 2014 at 4:33 PM

As people used to say when they invoked Pearl Harbor – Keep ‘em dyin’.

formwiz on August 21, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Is the golfer in chief still trying to block military shipments to Israel?

talkingpoints on August 21, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Obama – take the hint and go after the leaders in ISIS.
Why destroy and kill so many (including innocents) when they could most likely solve the problem by taking out the leaders of ISIS.

albill on August 21, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Bibi’s got more grit in his little finger that Obama has in his entire body.

This message is the one Obama should be sending to ISIS, not 5 minutes of minimizing the threat they pose and then heading off to the golf course to yuk it up with his posse. “F** with us and you will die in a bloody mist. Soon.” It’s the only message these bloody barbarian murderers understand and respect. Of course, the message must be put into effect, another consistent failing of the political weather vane in the Oval Office.

Eastwood’s brilliant empty chair bit just becomes more striking as Obama lives up to it in every conceivable way.

Will a significant number of the fools who voted for this incompetent, misguided ideologue and self-serving narcissist not once but twice ever admit the damage their Chosen One did to our country? Will we learn anything about ourselves as an electorate from these successive abject failures to select even a marginally competent and honest president?

novaculus on August 21, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Maybe when IDF is done with Gaza, they give tips to bams on how to get things done.
O/T – Unbelievable stupid questions being asked by press during Hagel briefing.
Example: “What is the ISIL threat to America?”

31giddyup on August 21, 2014 at 4:20 PM

31giddyup:—-:0
=================

Phil MattinglyVerified account
@Phil_Mattingly

White House Correspondent, @BloombergTV. RTs ≠ endorsements,

https://twitter.com/Phil_Mattingly

Phil Mattingly @Phil_Mattingly · 24m

“ISIL is as sophisticated and well funded as any group we have seen…This is beyond anything we have seen.” @DeptofDefense Sec Hagel

Replied to 0 times

Phil Mattingly @Phil_Mattingly · 28m

“It’s ideological, not political…so yes, it’s going to be a very long contest.” – @Martin_Dempsey to @ACapaccio on ISIL response

Replied to 0 times

Phil Mattingly @Phil_Mattingly · 29m

“Yes, they are an imminent threat” to American interests – @DeptofDefense Sec Hagel on ISIL

Replied to 0 times

Phil Mattingly @Phil_Mattingly · 31m

Hagel says Obama is “very clear that we will not allow” mission creep in #Iraq

Replied to 0 times

Phil Mattingly @Phil_Mattingly · 32m

.@Martin_Dempsey on Assad: “He is absolutely part of the problem.”

Replied to 0 times

Retweeted by Phil Mattingly
Dan Lamothe @DanLamothe · 40m

Dempsey says his military advice on disclosing Syria/Foley raid was OK with him as long as methods and specifics weren’t released.

Replied to 0 times

Phil Mattingly @Phil_Mattingly · 34m

“This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end of days strategic mission.” @Martin_Dempsey on ISIL

Replied to 0 times

Phil Mattingly @Phil_Mattingly · 38m

“We are providing a tremendous amount of military assistance to the pesh merge through the Iraqi Defense Forces.” – Hagel

Replied to 0 times

Phil Mattingly @Phil_Mattingly · 40m

“This operation was a flawless operation but the hostages were not there.” – Hagel

Replied to 0 times

Phil Mattingly @Phil_Mattingly · 41m

“Was this a failure of intelligence? No.” – Hagel on Syria raid

Replied to 0 times

Phil Mattingly @Phil_Mattingly · 44m

“We continue to explore all options regarding ISIL.” – SecDef Hagel

Replied to 0 times

Phil Mattingly @Phil_Mattingly · 45m

“Enduring stability will depend on achieving a credible partner with the Iraqi government.” @Martin_Dempsey on #Iraq

Replied to 0 times

Phil Mattingly @Phil_Mattingly · 46m

“We should expect ISIL to regroup” and engage in new offensives. – @DeptofDefense Sec. Hagel

canopfor on August 21, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Watch this be just what it takes to wrench Obama from his month long vacation/golf excursion to condemn forcefully.

Bee on August 21, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Has Israel taken out any of Hamas’ political wing?

Dusty on August 21, 2014 at 4:39 PM

A man’s got to know his limitations.

jmtham156 on August 21, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Eastwood’s brilliant empty chair bit just becomes more striking as Obama lives up to it in every conceivable way.
dent? [...]

novaculus on August 21, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Isn’t that the truth. Empty chair. Empty promises. Empty heart. Empty soul. Empty.

bofh on August 21, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Count on a lot of dead Gazans as Hamas tries to root out informers. They’ll be doing something a little more severe than waterboarding.

Lonetown on August 21, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Eastwood’s brilliant empty chair bit just becomes more striking as Obama lives up to it in every conceivable way.
dent? [...]

novaculus on August 21, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Isn’t that the truth. Empty chair. Empty promises. Empty heart. Empty soul. Empty.

bofh on August 21, 2014 at 4:44 PM

And at the other end of the spectrum is Bibi, no hat, and all cattle.

itsspideyman on August 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM

BREAKING: Obama ended vacation, golf to attend funeral.

Chuck Schick on August 21, 2014 at 4:48 PM

What do you call 3 dead Hamas leaders?

A good start. Ba-doom-chsh

jdpaz on August 21, 2014 at 4:49 PM

…the longer Hamas prolongs this war, the more that Gazans may have a hand in ending it for good via the IDF.

Betraying Hamas leadership to the Israelis is a very dangerous thing for a Gazan. Perhaps the only thing more dangerous, is not betraying Hamas leadership to the Israelis.

s1im on August 21, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Now that is how you handle terrorists.

crosshugger on August 21, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Is there any video showing them go boom. I like seeing terrorists going to claim their fake virgins.

crosshugger on August 21, 2014 at 5:01 PM

“Has Israel taken out any of Hamas’ political wing?”

Israel would have to poison the canapés at Khaled Mashaal’s luxury hotel suite in Qatar.

BTW, if this is true, it is hilarious, and if it disinformation, it’s still hilarious:

Hamas is executing “collaborators” left and right to try to close the obvious security leak that led to the Israelis targeting of the military leadership, but a source in Israel is claiming that:

“Hamas political head in exile Khaled Mashaal reportedly broke protocol and directly contacted the head of the military wing in Gaza Mohammed Deif to discuss a ceasefire with Israel, a call that was intercepted by Israeli intelligence”.

Are they going to execute Mashaal?

Realist on August 21, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Wait until obama reads about this in the paper.

He is going to be so very mad.

HumpBot Salvation on August 21, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Is there any video showing them go boom. I like seeing terrorists going to claim their fake virgins.

The IDF aims to please:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLYUymmDVA4&list=UUawNWlihdgaycQpO3zi-jYg

Realist on August 21, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Are they going to execute Mashaal?

Realist on August 21, 2014 at 5:07 PM

It saves a lot of Israeli ammo if they can get the Paleos to kill each other.
Sounds like a good plan to me.

dentarthurdent on August 21, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Is there any video showing them go boom. I like seeing terrorists going to claim their fake virgins.

crosshugger on August 21, 2014 at 5:01 PM

crosshugger: Kinda:)
======================

The Associated Press @AP · 10h

AP VIDEO: At least four members of the same family killed as Israel resumed airstrikes in Gaza City: http://apne.ws/1ogm81V

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leasfCUJJKs&feature=youtu.be

canopfor on August 21, 2014 at 5:11 PM

“Hamas political head in exile Khaled Mashaal reportedly broke protocol and directly contacted the head of the military wing in Gaza Mohammed Deif to discuss a ceasefire with Israel, a call that was intercepted by Israeli intelligence”.

Are they going to execute Mashaal?

Realist on August 21, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Better yet – let’s get Mashaal to make a bunch more phone calls… “Can you hear me now?” (boom)

dentarthurdent on August 21, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Has Israel taken out any of Hamas’ political wing?

Dusty on August 21, 2014 at 4:39 PM

No. They’re all living the life of the rich and famous in Qatar and Turkey.

Mahdi on August 21, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Really, only one of us thought to bomb the people at the funeral?
Oh, I’d do it, then ask when & where the funerals were to be held for them.

Terrorism! It works!

Tard on August 21, 2014 at 5:23 PM

No negotiations.

Sherman1864 on August 21, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Really, only one of us thought to bomb the people at the funeral?
Oh, I’d do it, then ask when & where the funerals were to be held for them.

Terrorism! It works!

Tard on August 21, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Hey, why not?
The Muslims do it to each other all the time.
I was starting to think a good bomb blast was just a standard part of every Muslim funeral.

dentarthurdent on August 21, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Good for Israel.

Cindy Munford on August 21, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Apparently, Abbas doesn’t agree with the Tom Friedman/Barack Obama/Karl Marx theory of war. He must believe that in his struggle with Hamas there will be winners and losers. Hamas came after him and now Abbas seems to be collaborating with the Israelis in fighting back.

MTF on August 21, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Hamas doesn’t even know how much the Israeli public wants the IDF to go in and bomb them to smithereens. Bibi is considered almost a leftwinger compared to the Israeli street when it comes to this operation.

The Iron Dome program is ironically saving Hamas’s life, because if each of their rocket would hit, and those are almost 4000 rockets by now, there would be nothing stopping the IDF going at Gaza like it went at Syria and Egypt in 1973.

There would have been not 2000 Gazans dead, but 10,000, maybe more. No kiddie gloves with precision strikes.

AlexB on August 21, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Kill them all, it’s been obvious for a long time that the only winners in this scenario are those who are left alive.

Ukiah on August 21, 2014 at 6:45 PM

three top Hamas commanders in southern Gaza

are dead, and GM is alive!

-Joe “It worked in 2012″ Biden

Dolce Far Niente on August 21, 2014 at 7:09 PM

So, Ed, where’s your condemnation of this?

corona79 on August 21, 2014 at 7:45 PM

For the past several weeks, the Israelis had for the most part resigned themselves to a continuing Hamas presence, in part over fear of what might follow in its place. One need look no farther than the northern Iraqi desert to contemplate the answer to that question.

The west is seriously doomed if they think they can coexist with any 7th century barbarian Islamist group no matter the name. The Koran demands a world wide caliphate. How many burning parts of the world does it take to understand this?

Bleed_thelizard on August 21, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Israel needs to take out this fat f in his fancy home in Qatar:

Average Gazan Makes $2,900 Per Year – While Hamas Leader Is Billionaire… In Qatar

slickwillie2001 on August 21, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Rules of the Modern Battlefield:
If you are observable, you will be seen.
If you are seen, you will be targeted.
If you are targeted, you will be hit.

Launch the missiles, we’ll make more.

Missilengr on August 21, 2014 at 8:45 PM

So, Ed, where’s your condemnation of this?

corona79 on August 21, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Why should he condemn him exactly?
The guy was rioting so he was arrested. So would you if you rioted on the streets of any American city.

AlexB on August 21, 2014 at 9:52 PM

So, Ed, where’s your condemnation of this?

corona79 on August 21, 2014 at 7:45 PM

There are myriads of Israelis who have American citizenship. Many have violated the law and been arrested over the last 67 years, just as people in other countries who are also US citizens have been arrested for law violations overseas.

Where’s you condemnation of these 100s of 1000s of cases? Where’s the State Dept.’s? They should have a full time staff just to attend to this.

Regards from Jerusalem, the eternal capital city of the Jewish Nation.

Shy Guy on August 21, 2014 at 11:46 PM

Oh, I agree Israel and the Pals should return to the negotiating table … after Israel has thoroughly flattened Hamas.

RebeccaH on August 22, 2014 at 10:18 AM