In a startling statement, the chairman of the Israeli Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee has threatened to assassinate the head of the political bureau of Hamas. Shaul Mofaz, MK, said that Khalid Meshaal should declare his organisation's commitment to the conditions set by the International Quartet, including the recognition of Israel, "or become a target for assassination in the way that Bin Laden was dealt with".
Speaking to Radio Israel on 8th May, Mofaz said, "I know the Hamas movement very well, and I believe that it is one of the most difficult terrorist movements that Israel has known. And our records for Hamas are long and bitter because of the many operations that the movement has carried out against us."
The MK said that Meshaal has two choices: "Either accept the Quartet's conditions, which include the cessation of terrorist operations, the recognition of Israel and an acknowledgement of all the agreements signed with it", or face assassination attempts. "He has to make the choice," added Mofaz.
Tel Aviv is ready to negotiate with the Palestinian government that will be formed post-reconciliation, claims Mofaz, if and when Hamas declares its acceptance of the Quartet's conditions. He stressed that the international community must insist on Hamas adopting them. He also called on Netanyahu's government to take political initiatives and expend the effort necessary "to prevent Israel's international isolation because of the country's lack of real leadership working towards changing the current reality". This, he concluded, constitutes a big dilemma.