Who assassinated Hamas official Kamal Ranaja? Hamas is pointing fingers at two opposite directions – Israel and the Syrian regime.
While members of the terrorist organization blamed
Israel's Mossad for the Damascus assassination, other Hamas members claimed that Bashar Assad's forces were behind the hit.
The main reasoning for this hypothesis is that the method of the assassination does not fit the Mossad's MOs. Arab media reported that Ranaja suffered a particularly brutal death.
According to the report, assassins broke into his apartment, interrogated him under torture and the murdered him. The assassins then cut off his head, placed the severed body parts in a closet and set the apartment on fire – not forgetting to take away with them some secret documents.
"The Mossad would have killed him differently, this was not its MO," said Mohamed Hifawi, a member of the Local Coordination Committees (LLC) in Syria on behalf of Hamas. "Israeli assassins would have done it quicker and cleaner and would not have wasted time needlessly abusing the body."
"The way the body was mutilated and the attempt to burn the house are all methods that point to the involvement of the (Syrian) security forces," he told AFP.
In a message to the French news agency, Hifawi mentioned other details which support his supposition. "He was visiting Syria and nobody knew he was in the country apart from the security services who gave him permission to enter.
"He arrived at an apartment in a neighborhood in Qudsaya which was under a curfew and could only be accessed by the security forces and the regime's thugs."
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.
The delegation's members were careful not to blame Syria for the assassination but one member noted, "We nevertheless have serious allegations as far as Ranaja's security detail. The Damascus security forces knew who he was and when he was arriving and still he was assassinated."
AFP, Ronny Shaked and Yossi Yehoshua contributed to this report