Israel has threatened to assassinate Hamas leaders if the militant group calls off its ceasefire.
Echoing recent comments by government security advisers, Israel’s Transport Minister Meir Sheetrit said the Palestinian Prime Minister-designate, Ismail Haniyeh, could be a target. “No one who is involved in terror or who is responsible for terror actions has immunity. It doesn’t matter what position they are holding. Haniyeh or anybody else isn’t protected because they’ve been elected,” he said. Ismail Haniyeh was not surprised by Israel’s tough stance as the government begins its election campaign. He said that he was well familiar with “Israeli aggression” and that the Palestinian people would not bow to it. Meanwhile, the World Bank has approved a 31 million euro aid package to help keep the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority running until Hamas forms the next government. The current funding crisis stems from a decision by the acting Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, to freeze tax revenue transfers worth around 40 million euros a month. Palestinians depend on foreign aid totalling around a billion euros a year but it remains unclear how much of that money will be withheld by international donors once Hamas completes forming a government.