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Israel preparing to assassinate Hamas leaders abroad in Qatar, Lebanon

PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT
An Israeli army soldier looks on during a military operation in the occupied West Bank on 12 April 2022 [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP/Getty Images]

Israel has informed its allies that it is preparing to send assassination teams abroad to target Hamas leaders in retaliation for the killing of Israeli citizens, the Times newspaper reported.

The newspaper suggested that Hamas had received warnings of impending strikes from intelligence services in the Middle East and Europe.

The report quoted intelligence sources as saying that "Israel was seeking to send a clear message after a year in which it has observed a ceasefire, brokered by Egypt, which ended the latest round of warfare in Gaza in May 2021."

The government is now preparing to "up the ante".

According to the newspaper, "Analysts suggest that any move against Palestinian leaders on home soil is unlikely, as that could prompt a renewed barrage of rockets towards Israeli cities, the trigger for last year's war. The assassinations are more likely to be carried out in other countries in the region where senior Hamas members live and operate, such as Lebanon or Qatar."

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