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Latest Palestinian cabinet pick prompts targeted assassination concerns

[JURIST] The appointment of Jamal Abu Samhadana [MIPT profile], fugitive leader of the militant Popular Resistance Committees [BBC backgrounder], as director general of the Palestinian Authority's Interior Ministry and head of a new Palestinian security force raised concerns Friday that the entire Palestinian cabinet could face assassination by Israel. Samhadana and his group have recently launched homemade rockets at Israel and are suspected of bombing a US convoy in the Gaza Strip [BBC report]. Following Hamas' victory in parliamentary elections [JURIST report] early this year Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz [official profile] stated that Israel would consider using targeted assassinations [BBC backgrounder] against Hamas if the group resumed attacks on Israel. Israeli lawmaker Danny Yatom has indicated that, in addition to Hamas ministers and the police chief, Samhadana himself remains a target.

While the US and Israel denounced Samhadana's appointment Thursday, the UK and international human rights organizations have condemned Israel's use of targeted assassinations [JURIST report] as contrary to international law. AP has more.

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