Hamas threatens retaliatory attacks on Israelis overseas

Terrorist leader says assassins may have traveled to Dubai with Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau.

January 30, 2010 13:37
2 minute read.
hamas men masked close up 298

hamas men masked 298. (photo credit: AP [file])

Israeli 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.

The 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.

Osama 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 comment.

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 public.

"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 his death.

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.

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