Lebanon: Israel behind attempt on life of Hamas member

Lebanese Interior Minister says Israel is behind car bomb blast in Sidon that targeted senior Hamas official.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Exploded car in Sidon
Exploded car in Sidon

Lebanese authorities on Friday blamed Israel for a car bomb blast in Sidon that targeted an official of the Hamas terrorist group earlier this month, AFP reported.

Mohammad Hamdan was injured when a bomb placed in his car detonated in the southern port city on January 14.

Hamdan did not appear to have a public or political role in Hamas, but according to a Palestinian security source, he was a member of the organization's so-called “security structure”.

On Friday, the press office of Lebanese Interior Minister Nouhad Mashnuq said one of the perpetrators had been coordinating with Israel.

In a statement distributed to reporters, it said investigators were able to arrest "one of the main perpetrators of the crime, who confessed to being tasked by Israeli intelligence".

The statement did not specify the suspect's nationality, but said investigators seized "very advanced communications mechanisms from his home, and correspondence between him and his handlers."

Hamas also accused Israel of involvement in the attack against Hamdan, as did the head of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah.

Hamas, which rules Gaza, operates branches elsewhere in the Middle East, including Lebanon, where its forces are in charge of security in neighborhoods of so-called “Palestinian refugees”.

There are thousands of people registered as Palestinian refugees in Israel’s neighboring countries, including Lebanon and Syria, where they have been caught in the Syrian civil war.

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have limited work options and are refused citizenship.

In recent years, the refugee camps in Lebanon have been the scene of armed clashesbetween rival groups, resulting in the deaths of some refugees. As a result, the number of “Palestinian refugees” in Lebanon has decreased significantly over the past few years and many are leaving for other countries to try to improve their situation.

In 2010, Lebanon sentenced a former security officer to death for allegedly collaborating with Israel to assassinate two Islamic Jihad leaders in Sidon. The country regularly accuses locals of collaborating with Israel. In November, Lebanese writer and actor Ziad Itani was arrested on suspicions that he broke the law by "communicating" with Israelis.

(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.)