Hamas Security Chief Killed

Finally, an Israeli strike that hit its target:

Hamas officials are confirming that an Israeli airstrike killed the Hamas interior minister, who oversaw thousands of security agents in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army confirmed the airstrike.

Hamas television says Interior Minister Said Siam was killed in a strike that flattened a home in Gaza City. A top aide, Siam’s brother and his brother’s family were also killed. Siam is considered to be among Hamas’ top five leaders in Gaza.

It’s still not clear what Israel’s endgame is with this operation.  As is usually the case with these things, the terrorists will plug someone in to fill his job and keep lobbing rockets into Israel.  But killing senior Hamas leaders is likely its own reward.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, Terrorism, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Triumph says:

    It’s still not clear what Israel’s endgame is with this operation. As is usually the case with these things, the terrorists will plug someone in to fill his job and keep lobbing rockets into Israel. But killing senior Hamas leaders is likely its own reward.

    I guess if they indiscriminately bomb an entire city of 400,000 people they are bound to hit a terrorist or two amongst the hundreds of other civilian victims.

  2. markm says:

    Any chance he was in the UN building that got broke?.

  3. William d'Inger says:

    the terrorists will plug someone in to fill his job and keep lobbing rockets into Israel

    That may be true, but they can’t simply plug in some Joe Schmo off the street and have an effective organization. If the talented leadership can be eliminated, it will be more beneficial than knocking off the average rocket lobber.

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    I think the endgame is pretty obvious. Either Israel will keep pounding Gaza until it runs out of targets or Israel will keep pounding Gaza until Israel’s present government thinks it’s bolstered its fortunes in the upcoming elections sufficiently to retain power.

  5. The word finally is misleading, unless you think that this is the first Hamas target Israel has killed, which is demonstrably false.

    I don’t know what the endgame is either, except perhaps to make it clear that Hamas is persona non grata on Israel’s borders. Perhaps that is enough.

  6. PD Shaw says:

    From DEBKAfile:

    “The Shin Bet security service discovered the top Hamas leaders’ whereabouts in Gaza with exceptional speed since the hideout demolished in the Israeli air attack had been rented by Sayam’s brother only two weeks ago when the war was already being fought. The precise targeting indicates that Israeli intelligence has penetrated the top Hamas echelon.”

  7. Ol' BC says:

    Israel needs to pound Hamas into submission or oblivion. Nobody chooses to report that there can be no peace between Israel and the Palestinians as the only goal of Hamas is the eradication of Israel. Yasser Arafat came right out and said it before he died. He flatly stated that any peace he agreed to would be in pursuit of their ultimate goal, the elimination of the Zionist state. And Israel gave these nuts ground within missile range of Israeli population. What were they thinking?

  8. Al Bee says:

    Like Vietnam you don’t know who the enemy is and you cover all bases. From I have read of the UN it was a wise decision. Get them before they join the battle.

  9. Eneils Bailey says:

    May he rest in peace, find paradise, and finds comfort in all those tight-twatted virgins promised to him.. Not a bad gig, if if was true.

    We have a modern-day country being comforted by thirteenth century barbarians. Not a good mix; my money is on the twenty-first century civilized country prevailing.

  10. Our Paul says:

    An operation of this type needs an easily understood descriptive phrase before some loin clothed bearded philosopher points out that killing of a government functionary is usually identified as an assassination, sub classification of the root word murder. It invariably includes the death of stand by innocents, now crudely referred to as “collateral damage”.

    Of course, we could consult the lexicographers of our culture, but I am afraid such common terms as “taken care of” or “rub out”, although descriptive, somehow seem inappropriate to the Holly Land. Several correspondents have indicated that we should take pride in our work, to wit: But killing senior Hamas leaders is likely its own reward and thus we should not hide our accomplishments, like candles, under bushels.

    In the spirit of advancing the peace process, I offer the following:

    “Extraordinary rendition of Interior Minister Said Siam was accomplished with extreme prejudice and one silver cluster, one gold cluster, and five platinum clusters.”

    Extraordinary rendition indicates Minister Said Siam was removed from his current country, extreme prejudice indicates assassination, and thus destination country, one silver cluster indicates the killing of a stand by (innocent) male, gold cluster indicates innocent female, and platinum cluster indicates children.

    I am open to criticism of this descriptive approach, but will resist attempts to change the concept of silver, gold, and platinum clusters. After all, the more clusters a given medal has, the more menacing the display of swinging parts.

  11. Brett says:

    Good riddance. I’d disagree with you, James – as mentioned, you probably won’t find anyone as skilled to replace this guy right on the spot, and if Israel wipes out the greater part of Hamas’s leadership cadre, then Hamas basically becomes nothing more than a series of disconnected cells and rocket teams. Those are dangerous, but they have no organized supply lines, and can be picked off one by one with the IDF.

  12. PD Shaw says:

    Well said Brett, and perfection should not be the enemy of the good. Wash, rinse, repeat as necessary. Nobody is offering any better solutions as far as I can tell.

  13. Ratt says:

    I have a suggestion; Nuke Tehran, Iran and this lil battle will be over. In other words, Tehran is Israel’s Nagasaki.