Thousands of Palestinians poured into the streets on Saturday in the besieged Gaza Strip for the funeral of murdered Hamas commander Mazen Faqha.
The Hamas movement announced on Friday that 38-year-old Faqha, a former prisoner and senior leader in the al-Qassam Brigades, was “assassinated” by unidentified assailants in southern Gaza City, accusing Israel of carrying out the targeted killing.
Senior member of Hamas’ politburo Izzat al-Rishq said the gun used to kill Faqha was equipped with a silencer.
Originally from the district of Tubas in the northern occupied West Bank, Faqha was released from serving a life sentence in an Israeli prison in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal and exiled to the Gaza Strip.
The Islamic Jihad Movement said Faqha’s assassination marked the beginning of “a new offensive” by Israel against the Palestinian resistance, and that the resistance had the right to respond and defend itself.