The main question raised by the latest Hamas shooting attack is whether the attackers had prior information to indicate that Michael Mark, who was killed in the attack, was the cousin of the head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen. The Establishment’s answer will certainly be no, suggesting this is just another mysterious coincidence. But is it really so?
This attack is reminiscent of another attack two years ago, when on April 16, 2014, terrorists killed the Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi, former head of the intelligence department of the police and retired Colonel at unit 8200 (the Israeli NSA) of the Military Intelligence directorate. Although the detectives who investigated the attack concluded that the terrorists could not know that this car was driven by a senior police officer, there are to date intelligence community members who are not convinced of this.
One of the theories being tested regarding the attack which killed Michael Mark, is the fact that just in front of the place where the attack was carried out on the road, a few meters from the road there are protruding parts of the low walls of an abandoned building. Near the building the police found bullet casings. One of the hypotheses is that the shooting attack was carried out from this point. Then the three terrorists got on their car and left.
Another possibility is that there were two squads. One squad opened fire from the building, and a second death squad arrived in the car in an attempt to eliminate the rest of Mark’s family. In such a development, it is clear that there is a deliberate hand-ie a headquarter which planned and coordinated between the two terrorist squads.
If the terrorists in Highway 60 knew that it was the cousin of the head of Mossad, it is an extraordinary success from their perspective.
This latest attack was the culmination of a bloody week with several successive murders in the Hebron area carried out by Hamas death squads despite the increased presence of army and Shin bet elements in this region. It remains to be seen if and when the authorities will be able to crack this nut and figure out whether the operational security of the Mossad has been breached by the terrorists or their foreign backers.