Kill Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assassination of Khalid Mishal and the Rise of Hamas by Paul McGeough - review by John Sweeney

John Sweeney

Poison Pentax

Kill Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assassination of Khalid Mishal and the Rise of Hamas

By

Quartet Books 477pp £25 order from our bookshop
 

At the heart of this book is a cracking yarn: the cack-handed attempt by Mossad, the Israeli external secret service, to kill one of the leaders of Hamas, the hardline Palestinian party, in Amman in 1997 by spraying a lethal poison into his ear from a device cunningly disguised in a camera belonging to a ‘Canadian tourist’. Everything that could go wrong for the Israeli spooks did go wrong, so a cloak-and-dagger exercise on Jordanian territory ended in rich farce. James Bond it wasn’t.

For the hit to work, no one should have noticed that anything unusual had taken place – just a casual brush past, not even a bump – between the ‘Canadian’ hitman with his strange device and the target, Hamas hardman Khalid Mishal. Instead, disaster: long before the planned contact, Khalid’s bodyguards had clocked a suspicious car, had spotted the foreigners lounging around on the street, and saw the brush-by. They were instantly suspicious. One bodyguard gave chase and the two Canadians, ‘Barry Beads’ and ‘Shawn Kendall’, legged it. After tumbling across a busy dual carriageway, the Hamas man caught them and a huge fight with rocks resulted. Finally, the Jordanian police arrived and

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