Hamas claims Israel assassinated commander in Dubai

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A senior Hamas commander was "assassinated in Dubai" by Israel on January 20, according to the Palestinan group. Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the 50-year-old founder of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, according to a statement, "died a martyr on 20 January, in suspicious circumstances". No further details were given. Hamas has stated that it will "retaliate for this Zionist crime at the appropriate moment", and is calling for a joint enquiry into the death.

[We] will avenge the blood shed by the martyr

—Hamas statement

Mabhouh, exiled to Syria since 1989, was behind the abduction and murder that year of two Israeli soldiers, Avi Sasportas and Ilan Sadon, and founded the paramilitary wing of Hamas named after a Syrian religious leader who waged war against the British in the 1930s. Mabhouh also masterminded several other attacks, to the point that Israeli authorities demolished his home in the Gaza strip. Mabhouh spent several periods in Israeli custody. After his most recent release, "he spent his life being hounded by the Zionist occupier until he succeeded in leaving the Gaza Strip", according to Hamas.

This is not the first alleged killing by Israel of Hamas members. In 2004, the founder of Hamas was killed in an Israeli gunship attack, and, later that year, a senior Hamas member was assassinated when two missiles hit his car.