Hamas operatives head to Jordan for assassinated terrorist´s funeral (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Elior Levy Published: 06.28.12, 21:54)
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Group´s Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal, other officials attend
funeral of Hamas member who was assassinated in Damascus. ´He
survived several attempts on his life,´ say anonymous Hamas source
The mystery surrounding the assassination of Hamas official Kamal
Ranaja in Damascus on Wednesday has yet to be resolved, but media
outlets released new details Thursday shedding light on the life of
the man who replaced Mahmoud al-Mabhouh and was claimed to be a key
player in the organization´s military wing.
According to reports, between 12 and 24 hours passed before Ranaja´s
body was discovered. Several eyewitnesses have reported that the
house was torched by the assassins, but neighbors claim only the
kitchen and entrance were set on fire.
The house in which Ranaja was assassinated belonged to his family,
and neighbors said that he did not frequent it often.
An Arab news agency quoted a senior Hamas operative as saying that
Ranaja survived several attempts on his life in Damascus and Beirut
due to the extreme security measures that he took. According to the
official, Ranaja had deep connections with Syria´s security
apparatus, as well as with Hezbollah and authorities in Iran.
A delegation of Hamas officials headed by Politburo Chief Khaled
Mashaal arrived Thursday afternoon in Jordan in order to attend
Ranaja´s funeral. The high profile event strengthens the claim that
Ranaja held a high position in the terror organization.
Hamas politburo member Izzat al-Risaq said that the group will launch
a probe into the circumstances of Ranaja´s death. "It´s still too
early to put the blame on this side or the other and we don´t want to
make any mistakes," he said, adding that all options are being
investigated, whether it was an assassination, an accident or murder.
Meanwhile, Arab media outlets reported that Hamas decided to maintain
silent regarding Ranaja´s assassination until it receives the
forensic report detailing the cause of death.
Hamas officials have remained vague vis-ŗ-vis Ranaja´s role in the
organization, saying only that his blood was not spilled in vain. Al-
Rishaq on his part posted a picture on his Facebook page of Ranaja on
the backdrop of al-Aqsa mosque with the caption: "The martyr
commander Kamal Ranaja."
Ranaja, also known as Nizar Abu Mujhad, was born in 1967 and was
married with five children.
The Syrian opposition claimed President Bashar Assad´s regime was
responsible for Ranaja´s assassination.
One opposition activist, a former journalist, said Assad´s regime
ordered the hit. She claimed Ranaja was tortured before he was killed.
According to her, the hit was a message to Hamas, which turned its
back on Assad following the violent crackdown on the opposition.
(Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 06/28/12)
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