Hamas says drone expert killed in Tunisia was operative, blames Israel for death

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestinian terror group in Gaza, Hamas, said that a drone expert killed in Tunisia was one of its operatives, and blamed his death on Israel.

Mohammed Zawari was shot and killed in his car on Thursday, near the Tunisian city of Sfax, according to reports.

Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, said that Zawari had been supervising the Hamas drone program for the last decade.

They accused Israel of assassinating Zawari and vowed revenge.

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“Qassam Brigades mourns the martyr of Palestine, martyr of the Arab and Muslim nation, the Qassam leader, engineer and pilot Mohammad Zawari, who was assassinated by Zionist treacherous hands on Thursday in Sfax,” a statement posted on the group’s website said.

“The enemy must know the blood of the leader Zawari will not go in vain,” it also said.

The Israeli military and government neither confirmed nor denied its involvement in Zawari’s death, as is typical in such cases.

Four rental cars, two handguns and silencers believed to be used in the killing were seized by Tunisian authorities, according to reports. Eight Tunisian nationals also have been arrested in connection with the killing.

Zawari, 49, reportedly was a technical director in a private engineering firm and a model aircraft expert.

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