Sunday, September 26, 2004
This is what the Fifth Column media and Jihadi terrorists refer to as "escalation": Israel Says It Kills Hamas Leader in Syria.
JERUSALEM - Israel claimed responsibility Sunday for a car bombing in Syria that killed a top Hamas leader.HAARETZ UPDATE: Report: Israel says it is behind Damascus killing of Hamas man.
Israeli security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the car bombing killed Izz Eldine Subhi Sheik Khalil [yimach shmo, may his name and memory be obliterated]. The death was also reported on a Hamas Web site.
Top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the army chief, have warned recently that no Hamas leader — even those outside the Palestinian territories — was safe.
Israel's Channel 2 television said the attack was a new tactic in fighting Palestinian militant groups. The station said the tactic came in the wake of growing U.S. pressure on Syria.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad both maintain headquarters in Damascus. Sharon last week reiterated a demand that Syria crack down on these groups.
Israeli security sources confirmed on Sunday that Israel was behind a car bombing in the Syrian capital of Damascus that killed a senior Hamas official, the Associated Press reported.
"Some people lead dangerous lives," an Israeli official said in response to the assassination of Izz El-Deen Al-Sheikh Khalil.
Minutes after the assassination, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza immediately laid the blame at Israel's door, saying the assassination was "a cowardly crime by the Zionist Mossad."
The militant Palestinian group vowed to strike back with terror attacks inside Israel. "There will be a response that would be decided by the movement's leaders inside the occupied territories," a Hamas spokesman in Damascus said.
The blast happened midday in the al-Zahraa area of Damascus. A member of the Hamas political bureau, Mohammed Nazzal, told the Associated Press in Cairo that a bomb had been planted in Khalil's car and it exploded as he tried to start it.
Israel Radio reported that the Khalil, 42, helped train Hamas' chief bomb-maker Yehiya Ayash, who Israel assassinated in January 1996.
Israel expelled Khalil from Gaza to Syria in 1993 along with a large group of Palestinians.
The assassination comes just days after the London-based Al-Hayat paper reported that the intelligence service of an Arab state has recently passed Israel extremely valuable information on the Hamas infrastructure in foreign countries.
According to the report, Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad, also received detailed information on two Hamas leaders, Khaled Mashal and Mussa Abu Marzuk. The information reportedly included details of their places of residence, their pastimes and the type of food they eat.
The paper said that the information was handed over at the request of Mossad chief Meir Dagan following the August suicide attacks in which 16 people were killed and which were claimed by Hamas.
In addition, according to recent reports from Damascus, the Syrian government has ordered the offices of Palestinian organizations operating in its territory closed.
Khaled al-Fahum, former chairman of the Palestinian national Council said the Syrian authorities have closed the offices of various Palestinian organizations, including Hamas, in recent days and in some cases have even cut their phone lines.
In a laconic statement, Syrian spokesmen told the daily Al-Hayat, "the Palestinian leaders are outside Syrian territory."