Targeting Hamas

The Washington Post has a good page-one story by Dana Milbank on the Bush administration’s backing off its criticism of Israel’s attack on the Hamas leader Rantisi: “Bush’s shift on Israel was swift.” The Post story emphasizes Bush’s subsequent meeting with Jewish leaders and related political calculations, but the key fact reported in the story is obviously the intelligence Israel shared with the adminsitration after the attack on Rantisi.
The story reports that after the attack Israel sent a delegation including Benjamin Netanyahu and the leader of its intelligence service to meet with Vice President Cheney and Condoleezza Rice. The story unfortunately does not report the information provided at that meeting; I have been told that the Israelis shared intelligence indicating that Rantisi ordered three suicide bombings during his ceasefire negotiations with Daddy Mazen that immediately preceded the attack.

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