DAMASCUS, Syria, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Thousands of mourners gathered Friday in Damascus, Syria, for the funeral of a Hamas leader killed in a hotel room in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Hamas blamed the death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, 50, on Israeli agents, the BBC reported. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied the accusation.
"I say to you Zionists, do not rejoice. You killed him, but his sons will fight you," Hamas's exiled leader, Khaled Meshaal, told those attending Mabhouh's funeral. "God already took our leaders and loved ones, but resistance goes on. Palestine is a blessed land. It will not remain patient."
Mabhouh, who had been living in exile in Syria since 1989, was found dead Jan. 20, a day after he arrived in Dubai. His family said the cause of death was an electrical shock and that the body also showed evidence of strangulation.
Authorities in Dubai blamed the killing on a "professional criminal gang" mostly holding European passports.
Mabhouh is believed to be one of the founders of the al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, which has been branded a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and other nations.