Hamas: Killers of top commander admit to working with Israel

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The March 24 killing of Mazen Faqha, a senior member of Hamas’ military wing, stunned the movement, which has prided itself on restoring security since wresting control of the Gaza Strip from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas a decade ago.Faqha was shot several times in the upper torso. His body was found in his car in the garage under his Gaza City apartment building. Hamas accused Israel of killing him by recruiting local collaborators, and launched a manhunt.On Tuesday, Hamas announced it had arrested 45 alleged collaborators with Israel, including three purportedly involved in killing Faqha. It was the largest such sweep since the 2007 Gaza takeover.A Hamas official said the man had been kicked out of Hamas for “moral crimes” four years ago and had joined an al-Qaida-inspired group known as the Army of Islam. The official spoke on condition of anonymity. At a press conference, Hamas released a 14-minute video showing the suspects apparently confessing to the assassination and saying they carried out the killing on the orders of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency. The video shows the three suspects at the scene of the killing, walking around the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza, being interviewed, revealing personal details, and admitting their involvement in the killing.

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