Hamas claims it caught assassin of senior commander

Hamas announced the arrest of the man responsible for killing Mazen Fuqaha, claiming the suspect had confessed to carrying out the assassination on Israel’s orders.

Hamas announced on Thursday the arrest of the man responsible for the assassination of Mazen Fuqaha, a senior leader of the Islamic terrorist organization’s Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades armed wing, claiming the suspect had confessed to following Israel’s orders.

Fuqaha, 38, was shot in the head and chest at the entrance to his Gaza City home on March 24.

“All the evidence we have … indicates the perpetrator committed this crime based on orders from the Israeli occupation,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh told reporters, without identifying the suspect.

“He has confessed to the crime,” he said. “What the enemy did was a painful strike in terms of strategy and security.”

Haniyeh, who was elected Hamas’ new political chief last week, said more details will be released in the coming days and that the suspect will likely be executed.

Hamas launched a campaign against suspected spies for Israel in Gaza and executed three Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel shortly after the assassination.

Hamas organized victory celebrations in dozens of neighborhoods across Gaza on Thursday night. In the southern city of Rafah, jubilant supporters handed out sweets, AP reported.

Fuqaha had been sentenced to life in prison by an Israeli court in 2002 for his role in several deadly suicide bombings. However, he was among 107 terrorists released in 2011 in return for former Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held captive by Hamas since the summer of 2006.

Fuqaha was reportedly in the midst of planning terror attacks against Jewish communities in in Judea and Samaria when shot.

Israel has basically remained silent on the incident, although Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman suggested Hamas was behind Fuqaha’s assassination.

“The organization is known for internal assassinations,” noted Liberman during a tour of Sderot, an Israeli city near the Gaza border.

“Hamas is known as the most radical of organizations,” Liberman stated. “I would not buy anything they say.”

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News