Assassination in Damascus: ‘Mabhouh’s aide’ killed

Islamist group says it is launching investigation to discover who is behind ‘despicable crime.’ Al-Mayadeen: Kamal Ranaja served as aide to top Hamas man killed in Dubai in 2010

Elior Levy

 

 

A senior Hamas operative has been assassinated in his Damascus apartment, the Islamist terror group announced Wednesday evening.

According to a statement by a member of Hamas’ politburo, the organization did not know who was responsible for the death of Kamal Ranaja, known as Nizzar Abu-Mujhad, but was launching an investigation to discover who is behind the “despicable crime.”

There was no word about the manner in which Ranaja met his death. No Hamas official has yet pointed a finger at any third party, such as Israel or the Assad regime.

However, shortly after his death was announced, the new pan-Arabic television station Al-Mayadeen reported that he used to serve as aide to Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas member who took part in several terror attacks and was also involved in kidnapping and killing IDF soldiers. Mabhouh was assassinated in Dubai in 2010. The deed was laid at the door of Mossad, which never confirmed or denied the accusation.

Mabhouh was responsible for smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip from Iran.

צילומי הווידאו של "מחסליו" לכאורה של מבחוח (צילום: רויטרס)

Alleged Mabhouh assassins in Dubai in 2010 - Archive photo: Reuters

The Syrian opposition claimed President Bashar Assad’s regime was responsible for Ranaja’s assassination.

One opposition activist, a former journalist, said Assad’s regime ordered the hit. She claimed Ranaja was tortured before he was killed. According to her, the hit was a message to Hamas, which turned its back on Assad following the violent crackdown on the opposition.

In recent years, Arab officials have blamed Israel for a number of deaths of terrorists outside the country, such as the February 2008 assassination of Imad Mugniyeh – an operations commander for Hizbullah. Mugniyeh is the most senior terrorist Israel has been accused of killing since the death of Hizbullah head Abbas Musawi in the early 1990s.

Mugniyeh was assassinated in Damascus in 2008. (Photo: Reuters)

Mugniyeh was assassinated in Damascus in 2008. - Photo: Reuters

The news of Rajana’s assassination comes on the heels of former Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades commander Ibrahim Hamed‘s conviction for 46 counts of murder earlier Wednesday.

Hamed was arrested in 2006 and convicted of direct involvement in a number of terror attacks that left at least 46 Israelis dead and hundreds wounded.

 

View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4248468,00.html

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