Hamas military chief deserves to die: Israeli minister

Jerusalem - An Israeli cabinet minister on Wednesday justified an air strike on Gaza that killed the wife and child of Hamas military leader Mohammed Deif, saying he was a legitimate target.

"Mohammed Deif deserves to die just like (the late al-Qaeda leader Osama) bin Laden. He is an arch murderer and as long as we have an opportunity we will try to kill him," Interior Minister Gideon Saar told army radio.

It was not immediately clear whether Deif had been killed or injured in the strike, which levelled a six-storey house in Gaza City's Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood late on Tuesday.

Emergency services spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra initially said three people were killed in the strike, among them an unidentified man, but later revised the toll down to two. He did not explain why.

Among the dead were Deif's second wife, Widad, 27, and his 7-month-old son Ali. Rescue workers on Wednesday pulled the bodies of a 48-year-old woman and a 14-year-old boy from the rubble, Qudra said.

Witnesses said at least three rockets were fired at the building, home to the Dalu family, pulverising it into a pile of dust, debris and twisted metal and leaving a huge crater in the ground where the building once stood.

Appointed head of Hamas's armed wing in 2002 after his predecessor Salah Shehade was assassinated when Israel dropped a one-tonne bomb on his house, Deif has already escaped five previous assassination attempts by Israel.

The Israelis see him as "the brains" behind the campaign of suicide bombings that targeted buses and public places during the second intifada (2000-2005) and consider him personally responsible for the deaths of dozens of civilians.

Read more on: hamas palestine israel gaza
Sarah Stanton 2014-08-20 12:46:47 PM
Yes Israel. Perhaps by *your* opinion the man *deserves* to die. But not his wife and child. Your lack of discrimination and good judgment will only serve to make the militants more rabid.
Mohammad Sulaiman 2014-08-20 12:50:40 PM
We have had violence now for 60 years, that has not solved the problem. We want peace for all Jews and Muslims.
Derek Bredenkamp 2014-08-20 12:51:01 PM
Does that mean Mr Mininster that you and your wife and children are also legitimate targets? It must swing both ways.
David Jones 2014-08-20 12:54:44 PM
Israeli schools are opening 1 September and not sufficient bomb shelters are in place.The answer for the madness lies in diplomacy and negotiations because Deif if dead will simply be replaced or already has a replacement.
Dagga Magazine 2014-08-20 01:51:08 PM
The pot calling the kettle black...
b.agnostic 2014-08-20 02:24:53 PM
Truth of the matter is that the fighting is just a nurturing ground for future extremists. Friends and family members on both sides will be seeking revenge. Hell even I would seek revenge when someone demolishes my home and leaves me as the sole survivor in my family. I am not taking sides, but why on earth would Israel with all its technologically advanced weaponry use a 907 kg bomb to kill one or two Hamas representatives when small diameter bombs are available? Small diameter bombs (129 kg) can be used to target a single room in a house with minimal collateral damage. In my personal opinion I think Israel wants to demoralize the innocent Palestinians (good concept but bad execution...like I said their actions are just nurturing future extremists). (And by demoralization I just mean that the Israelis want the Palestinians to realize that Hamas ain't no angel...an by doing so Israel isn't either...)
Tony Vermaak 2014-08-20 02:29:14 PM
blockade or no blockade, history shows that Hamas' tactics remain the same.
Bra Dish 2014-08-20 02:31:30 PM
Gideon & netanyahu's famalies also deserve 2 b killed,,,,de 2 guys r also murderers supported by us & de west,,bloody agents!!!
Nceba Mbane 2014-08-20 02:37:24 PM
Israelis are the children of god, and were given that land by god, and so it is that same god that gives them the right to kill children to protect that land. That is the logic the Zionists use. So dont worry about what kind of people kill innocent children, but more what kind of god commands his people to go and kill anything that moves just to save a particular race to the detriment of any other. What happened to we all are in the image of god, or is it just Israelis who are in the image or are children of god. Whose children are the Palestinians. Is it god who is discriminating is is it humans, as usual, misusing god's name for their own bloodthirsty aims?
John Stoltz 2014-08-20 04:24:56 PM
Please explain to me why Hamas has yet again started the rockets some two hours before the truce was over? Personally, if my neighbour throws a brick over my fence, I will throw ten larger bricks over his fence!!