Israel ‘had interest’ in assasination, dead man’s brother says

Israel ‘had interest’ in assasination, dead man’s brother says

THE BROTHER of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, who died in Dubai in mysterious circumstances on January 20th, has said Israel “had an interest” in killing him.

Mabhouh was a founder of Hamas’s military wing, the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, which has played a major role in Palestinian operations against Israel since 1988.

Israel accused Mabhouh of involvement in smuggling rockets into Gaza via Sudan, and Israel Army Radio suggested he may have gone to Dubai to meet arms dealers.

But his brother, Faik al-Mabhouh, dismissed the idea, asking: “Who had an interest in killing him? Israel.”

Mabhouh was born in 1960 in the Jabaliya refugee neighbourhood of Gaza City. In the 1970s, he joined the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which established the Islamist resistance movement Hamas. He was detained briefly by Israel on several occasions.

Mabhouh organised the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli soldiers in 1989. Pursued by Israeli forces, he fled the Gaza Strip and took up residence in Damascus, which hosts representatives of 10 dissident Palestinian organisations. Until his death, Hamas said Mabhouh had continued to play a “role in supporting his brothers in the resistance inside the occupied homeland”.

In 2004 Israel assassinated Hamas founders Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi. A third, Mahmoud Zahar, was nearly killed when an Israeli missile demolished his home.

Israel has also been blamed for the 2008 assassination in Damascus of Hizbullah military chief Imad Mughniyeh.