Hamas Deputy: Israel Press Reports on Dubai Killing 'Far From Truth'

Abu Marzouk told Syrian TV that Israeli media have exaggerated reports of Al-Mabhouh assassination.

Hamas' deputy political bureau chief told Syrian television on Tuesday that Israeli media reports are exaggerating details of the recent Dubai killing of one of the Islamist group's most active operatives.

"The Israeli press is disseminating dozens of stories and versions about the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, some of the unfortunately are quoted by Arab and international newspapers, but all of these stories are far from the truth," Moussa Abu Marzouk said.

"The details of the probe into the assassination are still in the hands of the Dubai police," Abu Marzouk said.

The Hamas deputy chief told Syrian TV that Dubai was a stopover for Mabhouh, whose destination was another country. Thus he stayed at a hotel which was close to the airport. Abu Marzouk said Mabhouh did not plan on staying in Dubai longer than 24 hours.

"We know that whoever killed him flew into Dubai for one ojective only ? to assassinate him," he said. The gunmen immediately left Dubai after the murder, Abu Marzouk said.

"We in Hamas have known throughout this whole ordeal that Al-Mabhouh was being followed by a number of parties," Abu Marzouk said. "With today's technology, those who sought to kill him knew how to keep track of him as he traveled from Damascus to Dubai, including [knowledge of] his flight as well as the hotel in which he was staying."

A preliminary investigation by Hamas has revealed several details that shed light on his activities and on the probable time of his assassination.

Haaretz has obtained some of these details; however, the mystery is far from solved. Even the first suspicion of Mabhouh's relatives and Hamas - that the Mossad had taken out the man responsible for weapons-smuggling to Gaza - has been replaced by suspicions that an Arab intelligence organization may have been responsible for his death.

Dubai police chief Dahi Khalfan told Arab journalists Sunday that he was not ruling out the possibility that the Mossad had killed Mabhouh, but neither was he ruling out other suspects.

Unofficially, Hamas has conceded that quite a few parties had an interest in taking out Mabhouh, who had become central to the Iran-Gaza Strip axis.