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Hamas announces arrest of armed wing leader's killer

May 11, 2017, 8:06 pm

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday announced the arrest of an individual who had reportedly confessed to killing Mazen Fuqaha, a leader of Hamas’s armed wing who was assassinated earlier this year.

"In a major blow to the Zionist security services, the person who perpetrated this crime -- on the orders of the Zionist intelligence apparatus -- has been arrested," Haniyeh said at a press conference in Gaza attended by Hamas leaders.

He did not reveal the arrested individual’s identity, but said that Gaza’s Interior Ministry would soon hold a press conference to provide additional details.

“The murderer made a clear and detailed confession of his crime,” Haniyeh, who assumed leadership of Hamas’s political bureau last week following internal group elections, said.

He went on to assert that Fuqaha’s murderer would be punished “according to revolutionary justice”.

A leader of Hamas’s armed wing (the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades), Fuqaha was assassinated on March 27 in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip.

In 2011, Fuqaha was released by the Israeli authorities as part of a major prisoner-swap deal between Hamas and Israel.

The deal saw Israel release 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Hamas in 2006.

Reporting by Nour Abu Eisha and Mohamed Majid; Writing by Ali Abo Rezeg