GAZA CITY ø A Hamas commander has been killed in an explosion in the
Palestinian sources said Abdul Salam Abu Mussa was killed in an
explosion in Khan Yunis in the central Gaza Strip on Sunday. Abu Mussa was
identified as a commander of Hamas in the region.
Abu Mussa might have been killed as he was firing a mortar toward the
Israeli bloc of communities in Gush Katif, the sources said. Another
possibility was that he was assassinated by an Israeli bomb embedded in one
of his personal belongings, such as a cellular phone.
Hamas did not confirm the killing. In late 2003, Abu Mussa escaped an
Israeli missile attack on his home in Khan Yunis.
In an earlier statement, Hamas leader Abdul Aziz Rantisi said the
bombing of Jerusalem in which eight people were killed was a revenge attack
for an Israeli military offensive against Palestinian insurgents in Gaza
"At that time, nationalist and Muslim factions said they planned to
retaliate for this [Israeli] terrorism," Rentisi told the A-Jazeera
satellite channel. "As a result, it's our claim that this deed is an act in
defense of Palestinians, the Palestinian state, and the Palestinian holy
places. It tells the whole world that unless there's an end to the misery of
the Palestinian people, the fighting won't ever stop."
Israeli military sources said Hamas ø despite a Fatah claim of
responsibility ø was believed to have been responsible for the Jerusalem
suicide attack. They said Israel would restrain its response to the bombing.