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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Israel Faces Criticism for Failed Killing

JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a storm of criticism Tuesday over a botched murder mission in Jordan along with accusations that his inquiry into the affair would be a whitewash.

A defiant Netanyahu, having ordered Mossad secret agents to assassinate Hamas political chief Khaled Meshal in Amman last month, appointed a three-man "clarification committee" on Monday to probe the affair.

Israeli officials, taking their cue from Netanyahu, dodged questions about the prime minister's competence in battling "terrorism" and managing peace with Amman. Jordan had been Israel's friendliest Arab neighbor.

Netanyahu persuaded Jordan to free two Mossad agents seized in the attack by agreeing to free up to 70 prisoners, among them Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, whose Hamas group has killed scores of Israelis in suicide attacks.

"It's impossible to sleep at night when this is the manner of decision-making in the prime minister's office," former army chief Ehud Barak, now the leader of the main opposition Labor party, was quoted by the daily Maariv as saying.

Netanyahu promised his commission would conduct an unbridled investigation. But opposition leaders complained it would lack the "teeth" of an independent inquiry headed by a judge.