(AFP) – Hamas has arrested the suspected murderer of one of its key military commanders in Gaza, the Palestinian Islamist movement’s leader said Thursday, while maintaining Israel was behind the March assassination.
“We announce that the killer and criminal that carried out the orders of the officers of the Zionist security services is in the hands of the (Hamas) security services,” Ismail Haniya told journalists in the Gaza Strip, referring to Israel.
“He has confessed to the crime.”
No details were provided on the suspect’s identity, though Hamas has previously suggested Palestinian collaborators worked with Israel on the assassination.
Mazen Faqha was shot dead on March 24 near his house in Gaza City.
He had been in charge of forming cells for the movement’s military wing in the occupied West Bank.
Hamas immediately blamed its arch-enemy Israel, with which it has fought three wars since 2008, and implemented strict border restrictions on those seeking to leave the Palestinian enclave.
The press conference was held outside Faqha’s house in Gaza City and attended by his widow and Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’s Gaza chief.