Hamas official Kamal Ranaja, whose body was found in his Damascus home last Wednesday, was not assassinated but rather was the victim of a household fire, an investigation carried out by the Islamist group derived.
Hamas was quick to blame Israel for Ranaja's death, saying he was assassinated by Mossad agents.
Israel denied any involvement in the case; but Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Army Radio on Thursday that Ranaja was not "one of the most righteous men of his generation."
According to a Friday report by the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat, a Hamas probe into Ranaja's death derived that he died of smoke inhalation, following a fire that broke out in his home.
A Hamas investigation found that the generator in Ranaja's home malfunctioned and sparked a fire.
Investigators concluded that though hurt, Ranaja attempted to crawl out of the apartment, but succumbed to the smoke.
Friday's report also contradicted accusations made by the Syrian opposition, which claimed Ranaja was assassinated by Assad's regime, as a message to "ungrateful" Hamas.
Hamas, however, negated the possibility that Syria or Israel were linked to Ranaja's death, stressing that since he "had nothing to do with the movement military or security operations, no one had a reason to target him."
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