Of course you know, this means war:
The IAF fired a missile at a car in Gaza Wednesday, killing the commander of Hamas’s “military” terror wing, Ahmed Jaabari. Israel’s TV Channel 2 says his son was also killed.
There are reports that Raed al-Atar, Commander of Hamas’s southern division, has also been killed.
Hamas responded by saying that it was now in a state of “open war” with Israel with no date set for its end.
In happier times
Such targeted killings have been effective in the past, if only temporarily so:
Advocates say targeted killings are an effective deterrent without the complications associated with a ground operation, chiefly civilian and Israeli troop casualties. Proponents argue they also prevent future attacks by removing their masterminds.
Critics say they invite retaliation by terrorists and encourage them to try to assassinate Israeli leaders. They complain that the strikes amount to extrajudicial killings.
During a wave of suicide bombings against Israel a decade ago, the country employed the tactic to eliminate the upper echelon of Hamas leadership.
Israeli aircraft have previously assassinated the previous commander of Hamas’ military wing, Salah Shehadeh, the movement’s spiritual leader, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, his successor, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, and dozens of other senior Hamas military commanders.
Israel of course has the right, even the responsibility, to eliminate terrorist masters who have blood on their hands (and the promise of more). Heck, President Obama ran on the platform. The ghost of Osama made more appearances for Obama than Bill Clinton and Sandra Fluke combined.
But there is a question of the long game. Sderot and the other southern communities deserve peace not only for a day, but every day. How Israel can accomplish that—and it will have to do it alone—is a moral imperative.