In the wake of last month’s assassination of a senior Hamas commander in Gaza, the terrorist organization’s security apparatus launched a massive campaign to round up and arrest “Israel-collaborators,” the Hebrew news site Walla reported.
Based on reports from Lebanon, published in the Palestinian media, Walla said that, thus far, many suspects have been apprehended in the ongoing campaign, aimed at identifying those responsible for the assassination of Mazen Fuqaha, of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Hamas blames Israel for the targeted killing.
Hamas officials were quoted as saying that they are committed to meting out harsh punishments for those discovered to have cooperated with Israel in the mission. However, one said, those who turn themselves in will receive lighter sentences.
On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman – who has neither confirmed nor denied Israel’s part in the assassination – was quoted by Walla as saying, “Let Hamas look to itself for the culprits. We are not seeking adventures; we deal responsibly with our security issues and do what we have to do.”
As The Algemeiner reported, Fuqaha was killed outside his Gaza City home on March 24 by a bullet to the head. Fuqaha, who had been sentenced to life in prison for planning a suicide bombing on an Israeli bus in 2002 — which left nine dead and 38 wounded — was released in the 2011 swap for abducted IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, held for five years in Hamas captivity.
In a statement vowing revenge for Fuqaha’s death, a spokesman for the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades said, “…the enemy will pay a price for this crime that is equal in size to the assassination of our martyr leader. He who plays with fire will be burned by it.”
According to the Hebrew news site nrg, Hamas spokesman Fauzi Barhoum accused the Mossad of being behind the killing, warning, “The response will be shocking and will hit the heart of Tel Aviv.”
(C) 2017 The Algemeiner . Ruthie Blum