Minister Katz warns Hamas: Terror attacks abroad will be met with targeted assassinations of its senior terrorists
Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz issued a warning to the Hamas leadership on Sunday, saying that if the terror group makes good on its threats to carry out an attack against Israelis abroad, Israel will target its senior terrorists.
While visiting the mourners’ tent erected for Gazan engineer-terrorist Fadi Al Batsh, who was assassinated in Malaysia, Hamas terror group leader Ismail Haniyeh threatened to avenge his death, which he blamed on the Israeli Mossad.
“There will be an unsettled account between us and (the Mossad),” Haniyeh said, implying that score could be settled with terror attacks abroad.
“I suggest Haniyeh to talk less and be more careful,” Katz said in an interview with Ynet on Sunday. “Gaza is much closer than Malaysia.”
Katz said an attack against Israelis abroad “would be crossing a red line,” threatening that it would “lead to the resumption of Israel’s targeted killing policy, and Hamas officials in Gaza—with (Haniyeh) among them—are expected to be hurt badly.”
“Israel knows how to locate and hurt those Hamas officials who are directing” terror attacks against Israelis abroad, the minister warned.
“Haniyeh and his friends should be careful before they talk … because Israel’s ability to hurt them will be absolute, hard and swift,” Katz went on to say.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad also threatened to avenge the assassination. “No matter how long it will take, we’ll avenge the engineer’s death. His blood wasn’t spilled in vain,” a statement from the terror group said. One of the PIJ’s senior terrorists is a relative of Albatsh.
Israeli media reported that Al Batsh was deeply involved in the Hamas drone development project.
Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, quoted by the state-run Bernama news agency, said Batsh was “an electrical engineer and an expert at making rockets.”
At a mourning tent in Gaza, a banner described the engineer-terrorist as a member of Hamas military wing Al-Qassam, whose sole mission is to murder Israelis.