Report: Egypt Convinced Israel Not to Assassinate Hamas Leader in Gaza

Israel planned to target Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh after the terror attacks in south last week but cancelled the operation due to Egyptian pressure, Al-Ahram reports.

Egypt convinced Israel to cancel a plan to assassinate Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh following the terrorist attacks near Eilat last week, the Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper reported on Saturday, citing Palestinian sources.

According to the report, Egyptian officials also applied pressure on Islamic Jihad to declare a ceasefire. At the same time, Hamas swayed other factions in the Gaza Strip, particularly the Popular Resistance Committees, to halt rocket attacks on Israel.

Ismail Haniyeh - AP - Sept. 28, 2010

The report also said that the Palestinian Authority was involved in convincing factions in Gaza to halt rocket fire.

Eight Israelis were killed in the terrorist attacks on the Israel-Egypt border north of Eilat on Thursday, August 18.

The Israel Air Force responded with airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, targeting Popular Resistance Committees operatives.

In the following days, dozens of rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, killing one Israeli.

A ceasefire declared by Gaza militants on Sunday quickly broke down.  A second ceasfire was declared on Friday.

Two rockets landed in Israel on Friday, despite the ceasefire.