hamas men masked 298.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Hamas claimed on Friday that
Israeli agents assassinated one of the Islamist group's veteran operatives in a
killing allegedly carried out last week in Dubai, and vowed to retaliate.
The group blamed for the slaying of
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh 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 Damascus, 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.
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.
“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.