Israel's secret service is the world's leader in assassinations having killed more people than the agents of any other country since World War II, and conducted more than 800 operations in the last decade, a book released earlier this year has revealed.
Author Ronen Bergman held 1,000 interviews and studied a number of leaked documents to shed light on the human cost of Israel's assassinations.
According to Bergman, until 2000, Israel conducted more than 500 assassination operations which resulted in the killing of more than 1,000 people including bystanders. During the Second Intifada, Israel conducted 1,000 more operations, of which 168 succeeded.
Since then, some 800 operations have taken place against Hamas civilian and military targets in the Gaza Strip and abroad, he adds.
Bergman's interviewees told him that on five occasions in 1982, Israel's then defence minister, Ariel Sharon, contemplated shooting down civilian aircrafts when he found out that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat might be onboard. On each occasion, the Israeli army refused to obey his order.