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Tag Archives: Iran

February 1, 2010

Israeli officials say a senior Hamas commander who was murdered in Dubai played a central role in smuggling weapons from Iran to Gaza.

They have refused to say, however, whether Israel was behind his death.

Hamas leaders have accused Israel’s spy agency, Mossad, of killing Mahmoud al Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel.

Al Mabhouh was said to be passing through Dubai en route to another country.

He was wanted by Israel for his role in kidnapping and killing two Israeli soldiers 20 years ago.

Dubai police say they have identified several European passport holders as suspects, but say it is possible Mossad was behind his death.

The official, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, 50, lived in Syria and was a founder of Hamas’s military wing, which has carried out hundreds of deadly attacks against Israel since the 1980s, Hamas officials said. He had survived several previous assassination attempts, relatives said, including one three months ago that left him in a coma for 24 hours.

The Dubai police issued a statement saying that Mr. Mabhouh was killed hours after arriving in the city on Jan. 19 by a “professional criminal gang” that left Dubai before the body was discovered. The killers had been tracking him since before his arrival in Dubai, and most of them traveled on European passports, the statement said.

There were conflicting reports about how Mr. Mabhouh was killed, with some relatives saying Hamas officials told them he was electrocuted and others saying he was poisoned or suffocated. Osama Hamdan, a Hamas spokesman in Lebanon, said “we will not talk about the details until we have put all the pieces of the puzzle together.”

Britain’s Times newspaper, citing unidentified sources, reported that al Mabhouh’s body was found by staff at the luxury Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai.

It claims a hit squad injected him with a drug that induced a heart attack, photographed all the documents in his briefcase, and left a “do not disturb” sign on the door.

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