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Israeli minister Eli Cohen threatened Palestinian resistance movements leaders with assassination

Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen’s threat of killing leaders of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas exposes the regime’s frustration over its defeat against the resistance forces, says a top Hamas official.

In remarks cited by Al Jazeera on Wednesday, Cohen threatened Palestinian leaders with assassination, saying, “We will kill [top Hamas officials] Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Meshaal and they will not die a natural death.”

Izzat al-Rishq, a member of the political bureau of Hamas, rebuked the Israeli minister on Thursday, saying his remarks were “shameful” and indicated the regime’s desperation with its failure to achieve its proclaimed goals in Gaza.

Israel has a long history of carrying out assassination plots against leaders of Palestinian resistance movements.

The regime’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last month that he had “instructed the Mossad to act against the heads of Hamas wherever they are.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian resistance movements say the occupying regime’s savagery, as manifested in its assassination attempts over the years, will not deter Palestinians from their struggle to free their land.

“The threats to murder Hamas leaders are clearly indicative of the political and military quagmire that the Zionist occupation is facing” following the Gaza onslaught, Taher al-Nunu, an advisor to Haniyeh, said earlier this month.

Cohen’s threat comes while the Hamas chief has traveled to Egypt to discuss a potential new Gaza truce involving an exchange of Palestinian abductees for Israeli war prisoners and the entry of more aid to Gaza.

“The Zionist regime and its allies thought that they could eliminate the resistance this way and force it to raise the white flag,” Haniyeh said in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian in Doha on Wednesday.

“The resistance, however, has still stood firm and steadfast on the battlefield and inflicted heavy damage on the Zionist regime after 75 days of Israeli crimes and mass murders as part of its scorched-earth policy,” he said.

Israel waged the devastating war on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas carried out a surprise operation against the occupying entity in response to its decades-long violence against Palestinians.

The bloodiest-ever war on Gaza has so far killed nearly 20,000 people, mostly women and children and injured more than 52,000 others, with thousands more believed lost and buried under rubble. The regime has also cut off most water, food and power supplies into Gaza.