Jonathan Kay: Palestinians Exhume Past, Ignore the Future





Jonathan Kay is Managing Editor for Comment at the National Post, and a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 

Khaled Mashal is known to the world as the leader of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. What is less well known is that Israel once saved the man’s life — after trying to kill him.
 
The two incidents occurred in 1997, when Mossad agents in Amman injected poison into the left ear of Mashal, who was then acting as Hamas’ Jordanian branch chief. It was a deadly dose, but the act was witnessed by Mashal’s chauffeur, who helped apprehend the would-be assassins. The incident became international news. And Mossad Chief Danny Yatom was compelled to travel to Jordan with the life-saving antidote. Mashal recovered, and has been a thorn in Israel’s side ever since.
 
The episode was a massive embarrassment for the Israelis. It hurt relations with both Jordan and Canada (under whose fake passports the Mossad agents were travelling), and provided a cautionary tale that served to squelch similar high-risk cloak-and-dagger spy operations. Yes, Israel still kills terrorists with missile strikes and even exploding cellphones. But poisonings have been out of fashion for some time.
 
This is just one of the reasons to doubt that there was any Israeli involvement in the November, 2004 death of Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat — whose body was exhumed on Tuesday, as part of a dubious and belated campaign to determine his cause of death...



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