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Assassination of Hamas senior operative won't ensure Passover calm

While Israel tries to prevent attempts by Hamas and other groups to perpetrate attacks during the Passover period, officially Israel did not take responsibility for the killing of Hamas military branch senior operative Mazen Faqha.
Palestinian supporters of Mazen Faqha, who was shot dead by unknown gunmen in the Gaza Strip a day earlier, march during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Tubas on March 25, 2017.
Gunmen in the Gaza Strip on March 24 shot dead a Hamas official who was freed by Israel in a 2011 prisoner swap, the interior ministry in the Palestinian enclave said. Faqha was released along with more than 1,000 other Palestinians in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier Hamas had detained for five years. / AFP
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No one in the Gaza Strip remembers anything quite as embarrassing as this. On March 24, Mazen Faqha returned home from a night on the town with his wife and children. He dropped them off and then took his car to an underground parking lot. His body was found a short while later, right next to the car, with four bullets in his head, shot from a pistol with a silencer. Hamas immediately shut the Erez border crossing and ordered Gaza's fishermen not to set out for sea until further notice. Meanwhile, Hamas security forces took up positions along the border with Israel and at the crossings, hoping to catch the assassination squad responsible for Faqha's death as it tried to leave Gaza.

Their efforts ended in disappointment. No one in Hamas doubts that Israel was behind the assassination. The current assessment by Hamas is that it was carried out by a team that entered the Gaza Strip by sea, after collecting high-quality intelligence. The assassins knew everything about Faqha's movements in real time, even that he would be alone in the garage. They killed him quietly and then disappeared without leaving a trace.

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