HAMAS TOYS WITH DEATH A leading Palestinian militant has been killed by, of all things, a remote-controlled toy plane. Hamas chieftain Nidal Farahat and others had been working on a way to load explosives onto such toys and use them as weapons of terror.On Sunday, Farahat appeared to fall victim to his own designs. He and five other Hamas operatives died in a Gaza City car bombing. A toy plane was found inside the vehicle."This is an assassination done by Israel," Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar, a leader of Hamas, told the New York Times.In January, DebkaFile claimed that Yasser Arafat was arranging for the deployment of new weapons: "Model planes packed with explosives and operated by remote control."
Last month, Palestinian toy importers in Jerusalem and Ramallah were told to order hundreds of these toys for distribution to Palestinian children in hospitals. Subsidies from European Union member-governments could legitimately be allocated to this humanitarian purpose. The model airplanes were purchased in Europe and shipped quite openly to the Palestinian shopkeepers.According to our sources, not a single toy reached an injured Palestinian child. The model planes were sent to Palestinian workshops for conversion into miniature air bombers with explosive payloads.DebkaFile estimated that the modified toys could fly for about a kilometer, and an altitude of 300 meters.