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DATE=2/16/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-226811
TITLE=ISRAEL / MOSSAD (L)
BYLINE=AL PESSIN
DATELINE=JERUSALEM
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 
INTRO:  A SPECIAL ISRAELI GOVERNMENT COMMISSION HAS CLEARED PRIME
MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU OF ANY WRONGDOING IN THE BOTCHED 
ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE A HAMAS LEADER IN JORDAN LAST SEPTEMBER.  
V-O-A'S AL PESSIN REPORTS FROM JERUSALEM.
TEXT:  THE REPORT BLAMES THE FAILED OPERATION ON OVER-CONFIDENCE 
IN ISRAEL'S MOSSAD INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, AND ON POOR PLANNING BY 
ITS DIRECTOR, DANNY YATOM.  MR. YATOM IS EXPECTED TO LOSE HIS JOB
BECAUSE OF THE AFFAIR, BUT PERHAPS  NOT  IMMEDIATELY.
AT THE SAME TIME, THE THREE-MEMBER COMMISSION CONCLUDED PRIME 
MINISTER NETANYAHU GAVE APPROVAL FOR THE MISSION AFTER FOLLOWING 
ESTABLISHED PROCEDURES AND CONSIDERING ALL FACTORS HE COULD 
REASONABLY BE EXPECTED TO CONSIDER.
CRITICS REJECT THAT CONTENTION, SAYING THE OPERATION RISKED 
DESTROYING ISRAEL'S RELATIONS WITH JORDAN AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE 
BEEN TRIED, IN SPITE OF THE MOSSAD'S HIGH LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE.
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU SAID MONDAY HE DOES  NOT  EXPECT ANY 
SIMILAR OPERATIONS IN JORDAN IN THE FUTURE.  BUT HE EMPHASIZED 
THAT ISRAEL WILL CONTINUE TO ATTACK TERRORISTS WHEREVER IT IS 
NECESSARY TO DO SO. 
          ///  NETANYAHU ACT - HEBREW - FADE UNDER  ///
MR. NETANYAHU SAID THERE IS AN UNDERSTANDING WITH JORDAN ABOUT 
JOINT EFFORTS TO COMBAT MILITANT GROUPS LIKE HAMAS, BUT, HE SAID,
ISRAEL IS  NOT  PREPARED TO GIVE TERRORISTS "IMMUNITY" ANYWHERE.
IT WAS LAST SEPTEMBER 25TH IN AMMAN THAT MOSSAD AGENTS ATTACKED 
HAMAS LEADER KHALED MESHAL, BUMPING INTO HIM AND INJECTING HIM 
WITH A SLOW-ACTING POISON.  THE AGENTS WERE TO HAVE BEEN LONG 
GONE BEFORE MR. MESHAL EVEN GOT SICK.  BUT THE AGENTS WERE 
CAPTURED AND EXPOSED.
JORDAN'S KING HUSSEIN, WHO MADE PEACE WITH ISRAEL IN 1994, WAS 
FURIOUS ABOUT THE ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE OPERATION IN HIS CAPITAL 
CITY.  HE INSISTED THAT ISRAEL PROVIDE THE ANTIDOTE TO KEEP MR. 
MESHAL ALIVE.  AND AS A CONDITION FOR ALLOWING THE MOSSAD AGENTS 
TO RETURN HOME, THE KING FORCED MR. NETANYAHU TO RELEASE THE 
HAMAS SPIRITUAL LEADER, SHEIKH AHMED YASSIN, AND DOZENS OF OTHER 
PALESTINIANS HELD IN ISRAELI JAILS.  (SIGNED) 
NEB/AWP/JWH
16-Feb-98 9:06 AM EST (1406 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
.



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