The killing of Hamas leader Izz al-Din al-Sheikh Khalil in Damascus by a car bomb is, despite silence from Government, widely assumed in the media and by experts to be the work of Israel.
Whether or not this is the case (and Senior Shalem Centre Fellow Michael Oren thinks it is), the fact that the idea is so instantly acceptable says a lot about the way in which Israel's security forces and particularly intelligence services are perceived in the wider world. Although I am far from being an expert, it strikes me that to be able to launch an exacting assasination in an extremely unfriendly enemy capital cannot be an easy thing to do and would demand a high level of information and expertise, not to mention equipment.
Although we have become used to the idea that Israel gets blamed for acts which it has nothing to do with (the slaughter in Sudan springs to mind and surely it's only a matter of time before the Zionist tropical storms in Florida conspiracy hits the headlines), I would really like to believe that we have the capability of doing that of which we are accused and the Government's booming silence seems to confirm that we do.
The actual killing of Khalil may not actually be that effective in and of itself, but the message that it sends is enormous to all those who are involved in terrorism; namely that they are not safe anywhere - not even in the capitals of the despicable countries that fund their murderous activities whilst denying that they are doing so to the world. Israel has shown determination in taking out first Yassin, then Rantisi and now Khalil - Mashaal must be shaking in his boots.