Jaabri headed Hamas’s armed wing, known as Ezz al-Din al-Qassam, and is the most senior leader to be killed in a targeted assassination since Israel’s 2008-09 war with Hamas. It remains unclear whether Israel and Hamas are headed for a reprise, but both sides seem conscious that the stakes are higher now.
"I think Hamas leaders will think twice before they decide to target Israel because targeting Israel might mean the end of Hamas rule in Gaza," says Prof. Abu Saada.
Some Gazans have accused Israel of trying to derail the Palestinian bid to be recognized as a state at the United Nations – an issue that will be put to a vote Nov. 29, the Palestinian leadership announced this week.
Jaabri was responsible for the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, whose five-year captivity became something of a national cause until Netanyahu’s government secured his release last year. As such, Netanyahu may well hold up Jaabri’s assassination as proof of his determination and capability to keep Israel safe at a time of heightened insecurity.