hamas men masked 298.
(photo credit: AP [file])
agents who accompanied National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau to the UAE two
weeks ago may have assassinated Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, senior
Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said Saturday.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Zahar added that the agents possibly entered the
country with forged documents. According to Israel Radio, he said that had “broken
the rules of the game” by carrying out the attack outside the Palestinian
territories or the Green Line. If wishes to transfer the
conflict to the international arena, there will be repercussions, Zahar was
quoted by the radio station as saying.
spokesman added that Hamas was now considering different courses of retaliatory
action, among them the possibility of an attack against Israeli targets abroad.
He stressed that the organization was fully capable of carrying out such
attacks, but had so far not chosen to do so.
Hamdan, a senior Hamas representative in , was quoted by Israel Radio
as saying that while the organization was obligated to retaliate, the
retaliation would be painful but rational. He reportedly stressed that strikes
inside the strategic depth of
would have a more devastating effect on “the occupation” than attacks abroad.
On Friday, Hamas claimed that
Israeli agents assassinated one of the Islamist group's veteran operatives in a
killing allegedly carried out last week in , and vowed to retaliate.
The group blamed for Mabhouh’s slaying,
but offered no evidence of foul play or Israeli involvement in the man's death.
The government had no immediate
The Hamas operative was killed on
January 20, according to an announcement on a Hamas Web site. The statement
gave no details about his death or any explanation for the delay in making it
"We in Hamas hold the Zionist
enemy responsible for the criminal assassination of our brother, and we pledge
to God and to the blood of the martyrs and to our people to continue his path
of jihad and martyrdom," read the statement on Hamas' Palestinian
Information Center Web site. The group pledged to "retaliate for this
Zionist crime at the appropriate time and place."
Mabhouh will be buried Friday at
the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, near , the statement said.
The Hamas statement identified
Mabhouh as one of the founders of Hamas' military organization, which has been
responsible for hundreds of deadly attacks and suicide bombings targeting Israelis
since the 1980s. It said he was involved in the kidnapping and murder of two
Israeli soldiers, Ilan Sa’adon and Avi Sasportas,
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
He was born in the Gaza Strip.
Government officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
Responding to the report, meanwhile, Sa’adon’s mother told
Army Radio on Friday morning she was happy to hear reports that a Hamas
operative believed to be involved in her son’s murder was assassinated.
“I am happy that [his death] has been avenged,
but sad that 20 years passed before this happened,” Sa’adon’s mother, Gilbert,
told the radio station.