GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – The right-hand man of a Hamas leader assassinated in Dubai confirmed Israeli claims that his boss supplied weapons to Palestinian militants, according to an interview transcript released Tuesday.

The aide, Damascus-based Mohammed Nassar, spoke to Hamas’ Al Aqsa radio in Gaza.

Nassar’s boss, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, was killed Jan. 19 in a Dubai hotel room. Israel has been widely suspected, but has neither confirmed nor denied involvement.

Al-Mabhouh and Nassar fled Gaza in the late 1980s, after capturing and killing two Israeli soldiers. Speaking to the radio late Monday, Nassar described al-Mabhouh’s action after one of the killings.

“Aboul Abed (Mabhouh) stood on the last body and raised his hands to the sky and said ‘Praise God who honored me with capturing and killing him,”‘ Nassar said.

Israeli defense officials have alleged that al-Mabhouh played a role in smuggling weapons from Iran to Hamas-ruled Gaza. Nassar did not reveal specifics about al-Mabhouh’s dealings, but said that his boss “never stopped thinking about how to fight the occupation by supplying quality weapons to the Palestinian fighters.”

“He participated with me in searching for weapons,” Nassar said, according to the transcript. Nassar also claimed that Arab spies helped Israel’s Mossad agency track al-Mabhouh, but provided no details or evidence.


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