Israel has finally admitted what was one of the most ill-kept secrets from its “secret war”: it assassinated PLO second-in-command Abu Jihad in 1988.
The story, released on Thursday in the Yediot Aharonot newspaper (although I have yet to find it on ynetnews.com, the English-language online version), claims Mossad worked the intelligence end of the operation, while the Sayeret Matkal commando unit carried out the killing.
Abu Jihad was a leading figure behind the 1987 intifada. Israel has refused to confirm or deny the operation until now, even though it was patently obvious who was behind the hit.
The AFP report is available here. [That version disappeared, but here’s the story on The Times of Israel.] If I ever find the ynetnews story, I’ll link to it.
As a side note, Daniel Silva’s art restorer/Mossad agent series character Gabriel Allon supposedly participated in the Abu Jihad operation.