Palestinian Islamic Jihad on Sunday claimed that Israel assassinated one of its senior commanders who joined the terror group as an engineer before his senior command post in PIJ's Syrian branch.
Ali Ramzi al-Aswad, 31, was “assassinated this morning in a treacherous crime at the hands of agents of the Zionist enemy in the countryside of Damascus,” according to a statement in Palestinian media.
Islamic Jihad said it would “continue its work, jihad, preparation and fighting in all squares in defense of the holy land of Palestine and the blessed al-Aqsa mosque.”
Syrian media reported that the killing took place in the Damascus suburb of Qudsaya. The assassination took place just days after PIJ Sec.-Gen. Ziyad al-Nakhaleh met with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.
Hamas also released a statement to mourn al-Aswad, calling his death “a cowardly assassination that bears the hallmarks of treachery and Zionist terrorism.”
Hamas said the killing would not discourage the Palestinian people from the path of resistance.
While Israel does not usually comment on targeted killings, many believe that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu obliquely referred to the killing in his Cabinet speech Sunday afternoon.
“All those who try to harm the citizens of Israel – their blood is on their heads. We will reach the terrorists and the architects of terrorism everywhere,” Netanyahu said. “Our forces are working around the clock to deal with the terrorists and thwart terror infrastructure. Dozens of terrorists were killed in the last month; many others were arrested. I repeat: All those who try to harm the citizens of Israel, they will pay with their lives.”
Last week, an alleged Israeli airstrike killed two Iranian-affiliated fighters in Syria.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority are holding emergency security consultations in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, this Sunday aimed at lowering tensions during the Muslim month of Ramadan, which begins Wednesday night.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.