IDF forces are on high alert in anticipation of a possible Hamas retaliation for the death of its slain commander, Mazen Fuqaha.
IDF forces surrounding the Gaza Strip are on high alert amid expectations of a possible Hamas retaliation for the assassination of one of its top military leaders in Gaza on Friday night.
Mazen Fuqaha, 38, a member of Hamas’ Al Qassam Brigades, oversaw the terrorist group’s efforts to instigate attacks on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
In what appears to be a professional hit job, Fuqaha was shot four times in the head near his home, situated near the beach in Gaza City, reportedly with a handgun equipped with a silencer.
Israel has not claimed responsibility for the killing, which may also have been done by Palestinian rivals.
“This assassination has the clear marks of Mossad,” stated Hamas attorney general Ismail Jaber.
Fuqaha was captured and sentenced by Israel in 2002 to nine terms of life in prison for his involvement in the suicide bombing on an Egged bus near Meron junction in the north, in which nine people were murdered. He was freed in 2011 and deported to Gaza as part of the deal to release IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held by Hamas.
During a mass funeral procession on Saturday, attended by thousands, Hamas called for revenge on Israel.
Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yehya Sinawar, and senior Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh led the funeral procession.
Another senior Hamas official, Mahmoud A-Zahar, told the media that the group will retaliate. Hamas parliament member Mushir al-Masri said Mossad “fingerprints” were all over the murder, and “the enemy,” i.e. Israel, will pay a heavy price.
“The martyr’s blood will never go in vain.” Hamas stated.
“The enemy will regret this,” Hamas’ Al Qassam Brigades warned.