Group claims Mahmoud Mabhouh, who was suspected in murder of 2 IDF soldiers in 1988, was killed on Jan. 20 in UAE capital; abducted soldier's mother: I'm happy his death was avenged.
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 , 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 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.
In , 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.