Lebanon: Two Israeli Agents Behind Car Bombing Targeting Hamas Operative

Local media reports the two were aided by two locals in operation to assassinate Mohammed Hamdan

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Lebanese army soldiers inspect a car that was destroyed in a bombing in Sidon, Jan 14, 2018
Lebanese army soldiers inspect a car that was destroyed in a bombing in Sidon, Jan 14, 2018Credit: Mohammed Zaatari/AP
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Lebanese intelligence services have identified the assailants who tried to assassinate a Hamas operative in the Lebanese port city of Sidon earlier this month, local media reported.

According to al-Akhbar newspaper, two of four assailants were Israeli agents, a man holding a duel Swedish-Iraqi citizenship and a woman, who is a Georgian national. The four reportedly flew out of Lebanon to different destinations.

The report added that two Lebanese nationals who were part of the operation fled to Turkey; one of them, Ahmed Betiah, was arrested by authorities and extradited to Lebanon at the request of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, while the other managed to flee Turkey to Romania.

On January 14, Hamas official Mohammed Hamdan was wounded when a bomb exploded in his car next to his home in Sidon.

After the bombing Hezbollah leader Hasssan Nasrallah accused Israel of carrying out the bomb attack, and called it an act of aggression.

The al-Akhbar report added that the Hamas operative Hamdan was being tracked by Israeli intelligence for the past seven months. One of the Lebanese nationals, it claimed, rented a structure from which he tracked Hamdan.

The newspaper also quoted intelligence officials as saying the suspects attached an explosive device to Hamdan's car and detonated it from afar, believing he was already seated inside. They also claimed the Georgian woman was likely working for Mossad.

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