(Haaretz, AP). Opposition leader and Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni on Tuesday praised the assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai last month, marking the first such comment from a top Israeli official. Tzipi Livni, speaking at the closing panel of the board of trustees of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, said the death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was good news, but did not say who was behind the killing. "The entire world must support those fighting terrorism: an American, British or Israeli soldier regardless if he is in Gaza or Dubai. The fact that a terrorist was killed, and it doesn't matter if it was in Dubai or Gaza, is good news to those fighting terrorism," said Livni.
Also on Tuesday, Former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said that the attribution of the Mabhouh assassination to Israel increases the country's power of deterrence, Army Radio reported. "These actions deter terrorist organizations, as well as states, who understand the capabilities of Israel's intelligence," said Halutz at a conference in Tel Aviv.
Halutz also referred to the assassination of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, which has also been blamed on Israel, saying, "When Mughniyeh was killed, it caused immediate damage to Hezbollah. Beyond the direct result of removing a significant man from the game, it sowed fear in the next in line [to replace him.]" "Nasrallah has been sitting in a bunker for three years for fear that 'his soul would be returned to its creator,'" said Halutz referring to the Hezbollah leader.