Israel threatens to kill Hamas leaders

Monday, May 21, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Israeli forces on Monday continued to strike Hamas targets throughout the Gaza Strip in response to ongoing terrorist rocket fire on southern Israel.

Israeli cabinet ministers warned that the Hamas leadership would also be targeted if the rockets did not cease.

"I don't distinguish between those who carry out the attacks and those who give the orders. I say we have to put them all in the crosshairs," National Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer told Israel Radio.

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter went so far as to threaten to assassinate Damascus-based overall Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. Israel's Mossad botched an opportunity to kill Mashaal in Amman, Jordan in 1997.

Hamas leaders responded by calling for the annihilation of the Jewish state, and insisting that the rocket fire on southern Israel was only the first step in achieving that goal.

"Continue to fight the Jews until the last of them is gone from Palestine [sic]," Hamas official Nizar Riyan said in an interview with the terror group's Al Aqsa television station.

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