Israel braces for revenge attack after murder of Hamas commander

Israeli defense officials have warned that Hamas is planning a terror attack in Judea and Samaria to avenge the assassination of Mazen Fuqaha.

Israeli defense officials have warned that Hamas is planning a terror attack in Judea and Samaria to avenge the killing of one of its military commanders, Mazen Fuqaha, who was assassinated in March in what Hamas claims was a Mossad hit, Israel Hayom reported.

Since Fuqaha’s assassination near his home on March 24, the Hamas leadership has vowed to carry out a revenge attack against Israel.

The terrorist organization identified the man allegedly behind the assassination as Ashraf Abu Layla, a 37-year-old former Hamas member from Gaza. Before being expelled from Hamas years ago over “moral transgressions,” Abu Layla was a member of Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

On Thursday, Hamas announced the arrest of the man they hold responsible for Fuqaha’s death, claiming he had confessed to working for the Israelis.

The assassin “admitted clearly and in detail… that he carried out orders of officers from the Zionist security services,” Haniyeh said, vowing that “punishment will be carried out against the murderer.”

Hamas recently executed three Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel.

Fuqaha was serving nine life terms in Israeli prison for masterminding a suicide bombing that claimed the lives of nine people and wounded many more. However, he was among 1,027 prisoners released in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011, after which he returned to Gaza.

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

Israeli officials have denied involvement in the killing of Fuqaha.

In April, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told Yediot Ahronot that “today, we can say with certainty that this was an internal assassination.”

By: The Tower and World Israel News Staff