The assassination of Hamas official Kamal Ranaja yesterday in the Syrian capital of Damascus has fueled speculation of Israeli culpability, with some Hamas figures pointing the finger directly at Mossad.
Ranaja was the deputy of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who was famously assassinated by Mossad in 2010, in an operation involving forged passports which caused a massive international row. Reports say that Ranaja’s body showed signs of torture, and the unidentified attackers stole large quantities of documents from his apartment before burning it.
Experts quoted in the Israeli press, however, doubted that Mossad would have been involved in Ranaja’s killing, with former Mossad leader Rami Igra saying that Ranaja simply wasn’t important enough to the movement anymore to be worth the risk of targeting him.
They also said that Ranaja’s links to the late Mabhouh, Hamas’ top arms smuggler, may have put him in a position to try to cash in on the Syrian civil war by trading arms with the rebels, speculating that this might have been the cause of his killing.