A Hamas military executive based in Syria, Hussein Kamal Ghannaje, was murdered Wednesday in the suburbs of Damascus, an official within the Palestinian Islamist movement in Lebanon said Wednesday, adding this was an Israeli operation.
"A group of individuals came to his home in Qoudsaya in the outskirts of Damascus where he wound up," said an official. "Our information is that the Mossad was behind the assassination," he added, referring to the Israeli secret service. According to him, Ghannaje was an affiliate of Mahmoud Abdel Raouf Al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas who was assassinated in January 2010 in a hotel room in Dubai, where investigators believe that the Mossad was behind this murder.
Hamas for many years was backed by the Syrian regime and its political bureau was based in Damascus. But according to press reports, the head of that political wing, Khaled Meshaal, and other officials have left the Syrian capital.
Last February, the Prime Minister of Hamas in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, welcomed the quest of the Syrian people for "democracy.".