Two Syrian youths detained in Lebanon assassination probe

Al-Qassam Brigades official Hadi Mustafa was killed by an Israeli drone on March 13.

Two Syrian youths are in the custody of the Lebanese Army Intelligence after being handed over by Palestinian factions in the Tyre region on March 22 over their alleged involvement in the killing of a key Al-Qassam Brigades fighter, Asharq Al-Awsat and agencies reported. 

Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas’ paramilitary wing) official Hadi Mustafa was assassinated on March 13 by an Israeli drone in southern Lebanon. 

The pair, who were recently interrogated and believed to be Israeli agents , reportedly planted a tracking device in the vehicle of Mustafa which highly assisted his killing with the drone. 

The factions said in a statement, “After the cowardly assassination of Qassam Brigades member Hadi Mustafa (Abu Shadi), carried out by the Zionist enemy on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, the leadership of the factions and Islamic forces conducted thorough field monitoring and surveillance operations, during which investigations revealed the involvement of a group of infiltrators in our camp in the assassination operation.” 

READ: Lebanese judge fails to arrest ex-ministers accused of Beirut bombing

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) had marked Mr Mustafa as a highly influential figure in the Hamas movement in Lebanon and claimed that he had a history of “promoting terrorist activities against Israeli targets worldwide, and was involved in directing sabotage cells and field activities to attack Israeli and Jewish targets in various countries around the world.” 

A third individual was also detained at the Rashidieh refugee camp, the second most populated camp for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, after it was found that he had instructed the two youths to plant tracking devices, bribing them with a hefty cash package. 

As well as clashing with Hamas in Gaza – killing 32,500 civilians in the process since October 7 – , Israeli forces have been skirmishing with Hezbollah on a near daily basis at the Lebanon-Israel border. 

The clashes have killed over 300 people, 246 of those Hezbollah fighters and has caused the displacement of 100,000 people living at the Southern Border. 

Asharq Al-Awsat/ LBCI Lebanon 

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