Hamas accuses Israel of Mugniyah assassination

Israel Materials 13 February 2008 17:50 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - The radical Palestinian Hamas movement accused Israel Wednesday of being behind the assassination of top Hezbollah leader Imad Mugniyah.

"Hamas considers this assassination a crime and an example of Zionist thuggery in Arab and Islamic countries," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuchri said in a written statement.

Other Palestinian militant factions too blamed Israel for and condemned the attack of Hezbollah's number two.

"The stamp of the criminal (Israeli Defence Minister Ehud) Barak is on this cowardly operation, for which, God willing, he will personally pay a heavy price," said the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement.

A statement sent to reporters by the Brigades called on Muslims in the West Bank, Gaza and across the world to "respond to this crime."

The Islamic Jihad said in a statement Mugniyah's death "is not only a loss for Hezbollah and the Lebanese, but also loss for the Palestinian people and Arab nation."