Hamas leader linked to Iranian weapons

Israel: Slain man smuggler

By Josef Federman
Washington Times
February 1, 2010

JERUSALEM–Days after Hamas accused Israel of electrocuting and poisoning one of its commanders in his Dubai hotel room, Israel claimed Sunday that the dead man played a critical role in smuggling rockets from Iran to Palestinian militants in Gaza…

…Hamas has been quiet about the reason for Mr. al-Mabhouh’s travels, though a brother says he was on a mission for the militant group. One senior Hamas figure, Osama Hamdan, denied Mr. al-Mabhouh was on a special assignment or that he was planning to head on from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Iran.

Israeli defense officials said Mr. al-Mabhouh was key to smuggling Iranian arms to Gaza, in particular rockets that could fly as far as the metropolis Tel Aviv, some 40 miles to the north.

Several rockets fired during the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza last winter hit cities as far as 25 miles away.

The officials said Mr. al-Mabhouh was also suspected in the kidnapping and killing of two Israeli soldiers in 1989. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing confidential intelligence assessments…

The complete article is at the Washington Times.

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