Kill Khalid

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

“A must-read” (Jon Lee Anderson) that offers a gripping account of the botched assassination attempt of Khalid Mishal, which became a pivotal moment in the rise of Hamas

“A pacey, riveting, and controversial book that has all the compulsion of a Le Carré novel.” —John F. Burns, The New York Times

Winner, 2010 Book of the Year, New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards

“Providing a fly-on-the-wall vantage of the rising diplomatic panic that sent shudders through world capitals” (Toronto Star), Kill Khalid unfolds as a masterpiece of investigative journalism. In 1997, the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad poisoned Hamas leader Khalid Mishal in broad daylight on the streets of Amman, Jordan. As the little-known Palestinian leader slipped into a coma, the Mossad agents’ escape was bungled and the episode quickly spiraled into a diplomatic crisis. A series of high-stakes negotiations followed, which ultimately saved Mishal and set the stage for his phenomenal political ascendancy.

In Kill Khalid, acclaimed reporter Paul McGeough reconstructs the history of Hamas through exclusive interviews with key players across the Middle East and in Washington, including unprecedented access to Mishal himself, who remains to this day one of the most powerful and enigmatic figures in the region. A “sobering reminder of how little has been achieved during sixty years of Israeli efforts in Palestine” (Kirkus), Kill Khalid tracks Hamas’s political fortunes across a decade of suicide bombings, political infighting, and increasing public support, culminating in the battle for Gaza in 2007 and the current-day political stalemate.


“[A] riveting account of Israel’s botched poisoning of Mishal. ”
Library Journal
“An incisive insider’s history about one of the world’s most intractable conflicts—and a ripping yarn to boot.”
—Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker
“McGeough’s work reminds us what real journalism looks like. ”
“More than just a thriller with endnotes. The author’s accumulated contacts over the years have given him rare access to most of the individuals at the centre of the Hamas story.”
The Times Literary Supplement
Vanity Fair

Goodreads Reviews