Jewish Journal

Top Hamas official killed in Israeli airstrike

by Brad A. Greenberg

January 1, 2009 | 3:43 pm

Rayyan's flattened home (Photo: AP)

“We are trying to hit everybody who is a leader of the organization, and today we hit one of their leaders,” Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon said in a television interview.

What Ramon was referring to was the airstrike on the home of Nizar Rayyan, one of Hamas’ top five shot callers. JTA reports that his apartment building also served as a communications center, was stuffed with rockets and other explosives, that went off during the bombing, and that an escape tunnel was found beneath the home. Two of Rayyan’s four wives and four of his 12 children were also killed in the attack.

“Rayyan was both a religious leader of the Hamas military wing and a military commander,” JTA reported. “He became Hamas’ top religious leader after the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in 2004.”

It’s that last line that gets me. Terrorism outfits are like gangs. The snake does not die when you cut off its head: It just grows another. So what is the point of targeting top officials when all that really does is speed up another budding terrorist’s promotion?

Israel’s war in Gaza, now in its sixth day, has been riling a lot of emotions—old fashioned Jew vs. Jew stuff—and stoking anti-Semitism: a Jewish day school in Chicago received a bomb threat in the mail; swastikas were painted on the sidewalk outside a Jewish preschool in Camarillo, Calif.; and this blog has been getting its share of “kill all Jews”—or all “Juice”—comments.

VideoJew Jay Firestone caught up Tuesday with a protest and counter-protest outside the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles that for a moment got interesting. It follows:

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