Israel Assassinates Senior Hamas Commander in Dubai


hamasIsrael has assassinated a senior Hamas military commander, an official in the Palestinian Islamist group said this morning. Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was killed in Dubai on Jan. 20, Izzat al-Rishq told Reuters in the Syrian capital Damascus, but did not specify how the assassination was carried out.

Al-Mabhouh was suspected of having participated in the abduction and subsequent murder of two Israeli soldiers, Avi Sasportas and Ilan Saadon, in 1989.

Sasport and Saadon were abducted in two separate incidents in 1989, on the orders of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin who headed Hamas in the years following its establishment. Sasport was an infantry soldier who was abducted from an intersection near Ashkelon on February 16, 1989. His body was recovered later that year. Several days prior to the discovery of Sasport’s body, Saadon went missing. His body was only found in 1996, as a result of intelligence received from Palestinian sources.

Rishq said Mabhouh was an “important” member of Izz el-Deen al- Qassam brigades, Hamas’ military wing named after a Syrian religious leader who fought British colonial forces in Palestine in the 1930s.

He said Mabhouh, who had been living in Syria since 1989, was assassinated a day after he arrived in Dubai but that Hamas could not say more at present about how he was killed.

{Washington Post/Yair Israel}