(JNS.org) Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal purportedly nixed a large-scale terror attack on Israel during the early days of Operation Protective Edge last summer.
According to a report by Israel’s Army Radio, the massive operation—which was planned by Hamas terror commander Mohammed Deif—planned to infiltrate Israel through terror tunnels, target the Israeli kibbutz of Kerem Shalom along the Gaza border, murder a number of civilians, and take others hostage. But the terror operation was nixed by Mashaal over fears of a severe Israeli response, according to the report.
Meanwhile, Israeli intelligence reportedly confirmed that Deif is alive and well, surviving an Israeli strike on his home in Gaza last August that killed his wife and two children. Deif has survived numerous assassination attempts by Israel over the years.
“The fact that the occupation confirmed that the general commander of the Al-Qassam Brigades (Deif) is alive and engaged in the missions of his commander is proof of Israeli intelligence’s failure to reach senior Palestinians,” Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh said, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Israeli intelligence also cited a growing division between Mashaal, who handles the “political wing” of Hamas, and Deif, who handles the military side, saying that Deif has been attempting to restore the Palestinian terror group’s ties with Iran while Mashaal favors stronger ties with Saudi Arabia.