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HAMAS: MABHOUH’S DEPUTY KILLED IN DAMASCUS

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Senior official in the Palestinian terror group said Hamas, on Wednesday 06/27/2012, that a group of men killed Kamal  Ranaja, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh’s deputy, in his home in Syria. Hamas said it’s investigating the death, vows that his blood will “not be wasted.” Kamal  Ranaja took the office of Mabhouh after he was killed by Israeli agents in Dubai in January 2010. Kamal Ranaja was a shadowy figure unknown to most of the Hamas operatives, about more than 1000, living in Damascus.

Hamas on Wednesday announced that one of its senior members, Kamal  Ranaja, 45, was assassinated in Damascus, and quickly blamed Israel’s Mossad for the killing. The announcement, posted on the terrorist group’s official website said it was unknown who killed Kamal  Ranaja, also known as Nizzar Abu Mujhad. However, a senior Hamas official later told AFP, “According to our information, Mossad was behind the assassination.”

The senior Hamas official said that Kamal  Ranaja,  a Jordanian citizen from Palestinian descent, was killed in his home in a suburb of Damascus, and implicated “a group of people” for the murder. He identified Ranaja as a former deputy of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the Hamas operative assassinated in Dubai in 2010. Kamal Ranaja himself survived at least two attempts on his life in the past. 

But a Syrian opposition source claimed President Bashar Assad’s regime was responsible for Ranaja’s assassination. One opposition activist, a former female journalist, said Assad’s regime ordered the hit. She claimed Kamal  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. The main reasoning for this hypothesis is that the method of the assassination does not fit the Mossad’s Modus Operandi -MO. Arab media reported that Kamal  Ranaja suffered a particularly brutal death. According to the report, assassins broke into his apartment, interrogated him under torture and the murdered him. The assassins then cut off his head, placed the severed body parts in a closet and set the apartment on fire – not forgetting to take away with them some secret documents.

“The Mossad would have killed him differently, this was not its MO,” said Mohamed Hifawi, a member of the Local Coordination Committees (LLC) in Syria on behalf of Hamas. “Israeli assassins would have done it quicker and cleaner and would not have wasted time needlessly abusing the body…The way the body was mutilated and the attempt to burn the house are all methods that point to the involvement of the (Syrian) security forces,” he told AFP.

In a message to the French news agency, Hifawi mentioned other details which support his supposition. “He was visiting Syria and nobody knew he was in the country apart from the security services who gave him permission to enter. He arrived at an apartment in a neighborhood in Qudsaya which was under a curfew and could only be accessed by the security forces and the regime’s thugs.”

The news of Kamal 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 in a Israeli Military Court

Ibrahim 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..

 

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