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Report: Israeli security chief warns of assassination

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  • Security service chief warns Israeli extremists might try assassination, source says
  • Group might target an Israeli leader to thwart peace process, chief reportedly says
  • Israeli newspaper cites anonymous source in Cabinet meeting
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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israel's internal security agency is "very concerned" that extremists in that country might assassinate an Israeli leader to disrupt the peace process with the Palestinians, Shin Bet's director said Sunday, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

"We discern a willingness among the far-right to resort to using guns in order to prevent progress in the diplomatic process," Yuval Diskin, head of Israel's Shin Bet security service, told the Israeli Cabinet, according to Haaretz.

Haaretz reported that a participant of the meeting released Diskin's comments. The participant revealed the comments on condition of anonymity because the session was closed, Haaretz reported.

Diskin's comments came two days before the anniversary of the 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

"Just ahead of the anniversary of Rabin's murder, the Shin Bet sees in the group we're talking about on the extreme right a willingness to use firearms in order to halt diplomatic processes and harm political leaders," Diskin said, according to Haaretz. "The Shin Bet is very concerned about this."

Shin Bet makes up the country's intelligence community along with Aman and Mossad.

Israel this week is marking the 13th anniversary of Rabin's assassination. He was shot by an Israeli opposed to the signing of 1994 Oslo Accords, which set a framework for dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

U.S. President George Bush had hoped for the Israelis and Palestinians to reach a peace deal by the time he leaves office in January. However, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert resigned in September amid allegations of corruption.

Kadima Party leader and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni gave up efforts to form a new coalition government late last month and is seeking to hold early general elections, which could be held in February, Livni's spokesman has said.

Olmert will continue to lead as Israel's interim prime minister until a successor assumes power either by forming a coalition in the current Knesset or through general elections. However, it is unclear whether he will be able to strike a deal with the Palestinians before Israel forms its new government.

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