Kill Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assassination of Khalid Mishal and the Rise of Hamas

In This Review

Kill Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assassination of Khalid Mishal and the Rise of Hamas
By Paul McGeough
New Press, 2008
512 pp. $26.95

In September 1997, Israeli intelligence operatives disguised as Canadian tourists botched an attempted assassination of the Hamas leader Khalid Mishal on the streets of Amman, Jordan. Starting with this incident and its fallout, McGeough tells the story of Israeli-Palestinian relations since the 1980s, organized around Mishal and the radical Islamist Hamas that he now leads. Woven into this gem of leave-no-stone-unturned reporting is an account of the Israeli policies of harsh reprisals and targeted assassinations; the poor performance of the Palestine Liberation Organization; the United States' on-again, off-again efforts to bring about an Israeli-Palestinian peace; and the Jordanian government's complex relations with Hamas, other Palestinian groups, Israel, and the United States. A journalist colleague has likened Kill Khalid to a John le Carré novel, and why not? With their coverage of intelligence agencies, suicide bombings, targeted assassinations, the smuggling of arms and funds, and the atrocities committed by one side or the other that derail the dim chances for peace, McGeough's facts, like le Carré's fiction, tell a gripping story while showing the moral ambiguity of all parties concerned.

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