Mohammed Tahsin al-Bazam, the Palestinian and former Gaza resident who was found shot in the head in the Swedish town of Limmared on Saturday, comes from a family with ties to the Hamas militant group, Haaretz has learned. Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip have blamed Mossad for the killing.
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His brother, Hassan Tacsin al-Bazam, was a member of Iz al-Din al-Qassam, Hamas' military wing, and served as a bodyguard for Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.
In 2007, Hassan told the Hamas-affiliated "Palestine Now" that he was kidnapped and tortured by Fatah security services who had tried to obtain information on Haniyeh's personal security detail. Following the incident, the brother was moved to a different duty within the bodyguard unit. He was then killed in an accident in 2009.
Mohammed Tahsin al-Bazam had been living in Sweden for approximately a decade. In Palestinian media reports about his death there was no mention of his or his family's ties to Hamas. One of the reports however did identify him with Fatah.
Al-Bazam's ties to Hamas are evident from the Facebook profiles of his father and other family members; some also shared photographs of them holding the militant wing's flag. Al-Bazam's father, Iad al-Bazam, serves today as the spokesman for Hamas' Homeland Security Office in Gaza.
Swedish police released a statement on Sunday about the incident in the small town of Limmared: “Reports said several people wearing masks entered the apartment through a balcony and shot the man inside. They disappeared after the shooting as quickly as they arrived,” it said.
The Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip published a statement in the Palestinian media in which it accused Israel’s espionage agency of assassinating Bazam. In an interview with a Palestinian news agency, the man’s father, Tahsin al-Bazam, said his son worked in marketing and was not involved in political activity.
After the shooting, Bazam was initially taken to a local hospital, but was then flown to a larger medical center in Gothenburg where he died of his injuries.
Bazam’s murder has not caused much of a stir in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank, but a number of Palestinian media outlets reported the incident as a mysterious assassination.