In the wake of Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas is trying to determine how the IDF managed to track down and kill its military chief Ahmed Jabari, despite the strict security measures he was forced to take.
Kuwait newspaper Al Jareeda published on Monday details of the aerial strike on Jabari's car in Gaza. According to the report, which was apparently based on details provided by Israeli sources, Israel initially planned to assassinate Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh but changed its plans when Jabari's whereabouts were revealed.
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The report said Israel was able to track Jabari down due to an internal dispute within Hamas, which caused its leaders to act recklessly and make calls from phones that were not secure.
Iran's Ahmadinejad (L) and Haniyeh (Archive photo: AP)
One of the sources was quoted by Al Jareeda as saying that two months ago Jabari "angered" Haniyeh and Mahmoud al-Zahar, another senior Hamas figure in Gaza, "when he searched Haniyeh's home under orders from Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal."
According to the sources, the search was conducted in light of suspicions related to Haniye's relations with Iran. Hamas' leadership abroad was not pleased to learn of these ties, this after the relations between the Islamist group and Tehran cooled due to Iran's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad's war against the rebels who are trying to overthrow him.
"Following the search, Jabari told Haniyeh that the organization is considering placing him under house arrest. This resulted in internal turmoil and disagreements," one source told the Kuwaiti paper. These arguments resulted in several "careless" phone conversations that were intercepted by Israel. The information helped Israel track down three of Jabari's hideouts and three vehicles he used for traveling throughout Gaza.
According to the report, security around Jabari was similar to the security surrounding Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
The targeted killing of Jabari marked the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense.
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: firstname.lastname@example.org