Israel acknowledges killing Palestinian deputy in 1988 raid
Military censor clears newspaper to publish interview obtained at least 12 years ago with commando who killed Abu Jihad
Israel has acknowledged after nearly 25 years of secrecy that it killed a deputy of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in a raid in Tunisia.
Two of those involved in the operation in 1988 now hold high political office: Ehud Barak, the defence minister, and Moshe Yaalon, the deputy prime minister. At the time Barak was deputy military chief and Yaalon was head of the elite commando unit Sayeret Matkal. Their precise roles in the operation were not divulged, and both men's offices declined comment.
Israel has long been suspected of assassinating Khalil al-Wazir, who was better known by his nom de guerre Abu Jihad. But only now has the country's military censor cleared the Yediot Ahronot daily to publish details, including an interview with the commando who killed him, at least 12 years after the newspaper obtained the information.
"I shot him with a long burst of fire," the now-deceased commando Nahum Lev told Yediot. "I was careful not to hurt his wife, who had showed up there. He died. Abu Jihad was involved in horrible acts against civilians. He was a dead man walking. I shot him without hesitation." Lev died in a motorcycle accident in 2000.
Posted by: tipper