Joel Mowbray

Hours after an Israeli missile claimed the life of Hamas head and co-founder Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the terrorist organization released a statement promising ?100 unique retaliations? that would shake ?the criminal entity.?

Senior Hamas official Ismail Haniya told more than 70,000 ?mourners? at Gaza City?s largest mosque, ?Every time a martyr falls, Hamas is strengthened.?

But as the kids on the playground would say, Hamas is just talking trash.

Amid all the hyperbole about ?exploding a volcano of revenge? and what not, Hamas refused to name its new leader.  They?re afraid.  ?They? is the appropriate term here, not ?it? as in the group, because Hamas? leaders all know their deaths are imminent.

Hamas? reticence notwithstanding, media reports were quick to identify the new terrorist leader: Dr. Mahmoud Zahar, Rantisi?s number-two and the personal physician to the late Sheikh Yassin, who met the same fate as Rantisi nearly a month ago.

Dr. Zahar has to know he?s next.

None of this is particularly good news for terrorist masterminds, but it is great news for more than just Israelis. 

Young Palestinians should feel safer already.

Hamas? hierarchy has been so busy trying to avoid their own deaths that they haven?t had nearly as much time to send little Abduls and Kareems to theirs.

Even if you want to take Hamas at its word that it really is devoting itself to ?100 unique retaliations? instead of trying to find ?100 unique undisclosed locations,? the terrorist group was no less determined to kill Jews last month (or last year) than it is right now. 

Following the targeted killing of Hamas? ?wheelchair-bound? ?spiritual leader? Sheikh Yassin on March 22, threats were aplenty.

Hamas promised to ?kill hundreds of Zionists on every street, in every city and everywhere in the occupied lands.?

Only, it hasn?t happened.  That?s not to say that Hamas won?t be successful in killing more Israelis, but it most likely won?t be as successful as it has been.

With Hamas leadership preoccupied with staying alive?even Yassin essentially lived underground in the months before his death and Rantisi went to great precautions as well?strategy and attack coordination are bound to suffer.

In fact, that has already happened.  The lone suicide bombing since Yassin?s death was over the weekend, on the same day Rantisi got to test that ?72 virgins? theory.  Only one Israeli died.

This month free of suicide bombings came not on the heels of a truce or a peace agreement, but after Hamas had pledged to ?open the gates of hell.?

Joel Mowbray

Joel Mowbray, who got his start with, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.

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