GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas said Thursday that one of its members was assassinated in his home in the Syrian capital, Damascus.
An official in the Palestinian militant movement said Kamal Ghanaja was a former aide to Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior commander who was himself assassinated in Dubai in 2010.
The official said Hamas had been informed that a group of people entered Ghanaja's home, killed him and took some files. He said a senior member of the movement has gone to Damascus to follow the official investigations.
He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Hamas in a statement posted on its website that it was working to identify the assassin and that Ghanaja's "noble blood shall not be shed in vain."
Although Hamas, the movement that rules the Gaza Strip, did not explicitly blame anyone for the killing, suspicions immediately arose that Israel was involved. Israel has waged a long and bloody conflict with Hamas and is widely believed to have killed al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel in 2010, though it has never confirmed or denied involvement.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak refused to confirm or deny Israeli involvement in the Ghanaja killing in interviews with Israeli radio stations on Thursday.