GAZA (Reuters) - Hamas Islamists on Wednesday called for the Arab world to unite against Israel after Hezbollah accused the Jewish state of assassinating one of its founders.
Top Hezbollah commander Imad Moughniyah was killed by a car bomb in Damascus on Tuesday. Israel has denied any role in the killing.
Moughniyah was accused of masterminding hijacking, suicide bombings and hostage takings of U.S. and Israeli targets in the 1980s.
“We urge the Muslim and Arab nations to act decisively against the Zionist (Israeli) octopus that threatens the security of Arab and Muslim countries,” Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said.
The Shi’ite Hezbollah guerrilla group and Sunni Hamas Islamist group both receive support from Iran. Both groups are considered “terrorist organizations” by the United States and Israel.
Israeli leaders have threatened to target Hamas political leaders as part of a stepped-up campaign against rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Abu Zuhri warned Israel of “unprecedented responses” if it carried out any assassinations in Gaza.
Israel assassinated top Hamas leaders Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi in Gaza in 2004. Israel has since largely refrained from targeting Hamas’s political wing but has struck against the Islamist movement’s field commanders.
Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Keith Weir