Hamas,  Syria

Hamasnik killed in Damascus; Israel not blamed

Kamel Ranaja, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, has been killed in Damascus, according to a party official.

Remarkably Hamas did not immediately blame Israel.

Ynet reports:

[S]hortly after his death was announced, the new pan-Arabic television station Al-Mayadeen reported that he used to serve as aide to Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas member who took part in several terror attacks and was also involved in kidnapping and killing IDF soldiers. Mabhouh was assassinated in Dubai in 2010. The deed was laid at the door of Mossad, which never confirmed or denied the accusation.

Mabhouh was responsible for smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip from Iran.

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.

Update: Hamas has now blamed the Mossad for killing Ranaja.