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Murdered Hamas Official Buried in Jordan

Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal attends the burial of a senior member of Hamas who was killed this week in Damascus.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 6/30/2012, 12:34 AM

Mashaal at Ghanaja's funeral
Mashaal at Ghanaja's funeral
Reuters

Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal and top Islamist leaders in Jordan attended on Friday the burial of a senior member of Hamas who was killed this week in Damascus.

AFP reported that around 500 people took part in the funeral of Kamal Hussein Ghanaja, whose coffin was taken from a mosque in Amman's east to a nearby cemetery, where he was buried amid tight security.

Arab media outlets said that Ghanaja was shot in his apartment, which was then burned. Hamas was quick to blame the Israeli Mossad spy agency for Ghanaja’s death.

“All options are open. Investigations are still under way,” Khalil Hayyeh, a senior Hamas leader, told AFP at the funeral Friday, adding, “There were burn marks on his body. So maybe he was targeted or it was the result of an accident at home.”

Syrian rebels, however, have pointed at Syrian President Bashar Assad as the culprit. Rebel commander Mohammed Hifawi told Al-Hayyat that Ghanaja was killed using methods typical of Assad’s regime.

At the time that the Hamas man was killed, the neighborhood he was visiting was under lockdown, Hifawi said. Only Assad’s forces were allowed to move freely in the area, making them the most likely to have carried out the assassination. Ghanaja was tortured before being killed, he said.

Despite previously being close allies, there has been a rift between Hamas and the Syrian regime ever since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began. Reports surfaced as early as last May that Hamas is moving its headquarters from Damascus to Egypt and the terror group is strengthening itself in the Sinai.

Mashaal, meanwhile, met on Thursday with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and top officials, including the country’s intelligence chief.

Relations between Hamas and Jordan have been strained since 1999 when the authorities expelled Mashaal and three other Hamas members after the group was accused of threatening the kingdom's security and stability. In recent months, Hamas has been attempting to once again get closer to Jordan.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)