Ha­mas ac­cuses Is­rael of killing co-founder

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

DA­M­AS­CUS: Ha­mas claimed yes­ter­day that Is­raeli agents as­sas­si­nated one of the Pales­tinian mil­i­tant group’s vet­eran op­er­a­tives last week in Dubai, and vowed to re­tal­i­ate.

Ha­mas iden­ti­fied its slain fig­ure as Mah­moud al-Mab­houh, 50, one of the founders of its mil­i­tary wing that has been re­spon­si­ble for hun­dreds of deadly at­tacks and sui­cide bomb­ings tar­get­ing Is­raelis since the 1980s.

Ha­mas blamed Is­rael for the slay­ing but gave no de­tails on how al-Mab­houh was killed, or on al­leged Is­raeli in­volve­ment. Is­rael’s gov­ern­ment had no im­me­di­ate com­ment.

Iz­zat Rashaq, a top mem­ber of Ha­mas’s ex­iled lead­er­ship in Da­m­as­cus, said de­tails have not been re­leased to avoid com­pro­mis­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and that Ha­mas’s de­layed an­nounce­ment was linked to an at­tempt to “reach the Is­raeli agents who im­ple­mented this op­er­a­tion”.

Al-Mab­houh lived in Syria and was pass­ing through Dubai when he was killed late last Tues­day or early the fol­low­ing day, Rashaq said.

Born in the Gaza Strip, al-Mab­houh had been mar­ried with four chil­dren.

Al-Mab­houh was to be buried yes­ter­day at the Pales­tinian refugee camp of Yar­mouk, near Da­m­as­cus, it said.

It said al-Mab­houh was in­volved in the kid­nap­ping and killing of two Is­raeli sol­diers in 1989 and that he was still play­ing a “con­tin­u­ous role in sup­port­ing his broth­ers in the re­sis­tance in­side the oc­cu­pied home­land” at the time of his death.

In Dubai, of­fi­cials could not be im­me­di­ately reached for com­ment.

Ha­mas rules Gaza but has leaders and op­er­a­tives based in Da­m­as­cus, Syria, and else­where. The group’s mem­bers abroad have been tar­geted in the past. – Sapa-AP

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