he murder of a top Hamas operative last month was an inside job, Israel’s Defense Minister has claimed, adding he would “not be surprised” if “somebody” eventually assassinates one of the fundamentalist organization’s most ardent supporters – the president of Iran.
Following the shooting of senior Hamas member Mazen Faqha in the Gaza Strip in late March, the Palestinian liberation movement went on to blame Israel for the assassination, vowing a “divine punishment” to his assassins.
While Hamas' internal investigation into the assassination was reportedly completed, Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, that internal assassinations are characteristic of the group.
“We can say with certainty that it was an internal killing,” Lieberman said, according to Haaretz.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if, during the Iranian election on May 19, somebody assassinates the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani,” he added.
The Israeli defense chief did not elaborate on his statement about the potential assassination of the Iranian president, but it seems unlikely that Hamas would seek to assassinate the president of a country which shares parts of its ideology and has been known to help the Palestinian cause.
Hamas, just as Iran, aims to liberate the Palestinian territories occupied by the state of Israel. After the 1979 Revolution, Iran severed all ties with Israel, and its Islamic government does not recognize the legitimacy of Israel as a state. It is widely believed that Tehran supports Hamas in its endeavors to undermine Israeli authority.
Despite the relative calm between Hamas and Israel, the organization’s military wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, continues to carry out regular rocket attacks against southern Israel. While most of the projectiles fall in deserted areas, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) firmly retaliates against the attacks, striking Hamas targets in Gaza air raids.