Ma’an Save Face, Report Full Story About Hamas Commander Killed In Syria

Ma’an tweeted a casual report yesterday, which in light of recent attacks on Palestinian camps in Syria, is not all that special.

 GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man from Gaza City was killed on Friday during fighting in Syria, relatives told Ma’an.

Muhammad Qunneita, 31, was killed in Idlib, northwest Syria, his brother Bakr told Ma’an. Muhammad had only arrived in Syria four months ago, he added.

In November, the PLO said that around 600 Palestinians had been killed in the Syrian conflict.

My spidey sense was tingling when I read the bold part. Sure enough, today we got the full story:

Gaza man killed in Syria was ‘Qassam commander’

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man who was killed in Syria on Friday was a senior figure in Hamas’ armed wing, rebels and Hamas officials said Saturday.

Muhammad Qunneita, 31, from Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, had been in Syria for four months, his brother told Ma’an.

Rebels told Reuters on Saturday Qunneita was killed in fighting around Aleppo airport where he had been helping to train Arab and Muslim fighters. Activists in Syria also said he had been a prominent figure in Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades.

After Qunneita died on Friday, Hamas-affiliated news site Palestine Now described him as a Al-Qassam field commander, quoting a military official in Gaza.

He had trained several rebel brigades during his time in Syria, and was fatally wounded during the storming of Idlib airport on Thursday, the report said.

But a Hamas source in Gaza told Reuters Qunneita had left the Hamas brigade and joined a jihadi group before leaving for Syria to fight there.

The exiled leadership of Hamas was based in Damascus until earlier this year, when officials from the Sunni Islamist movement, which sympathizes with the uprising against Assad, quietly pulled out.

There are no less than 4(!) obituary threads for him on Hamas affiliated forums, and he’s quite a poser:

Here he is playing “Where’s Waldo” with Ismail Hanniyeh:

The question is, what was he doing in Syria in the first place? This might answer that question:

A Gaza mosque announced the martyrdom of Qassam brigades commander Mujahid Mohammed Ahmed Bakr Qunneita (Falcon, as he was nicknamed in Gaza) during jihad mission in Syria , where he worked as coach of the mujahideen there, and specifically in the front of the Free Syrian Army fighting the Baathist regime.
 It is worth mentioning that the martyred leader Ahmed Jabari had sent several mujahideen qualified to train the mujahideen in Syria, and that the martyr is a member of the special force in the Al-Qassam Brigades, and one of the leaders in training and preparing the military.
At the end of Operation Pillar of Defense, the martyr was contacted by his brothers in Gaza and he said “Forgive me that I was not with you there”, so they asked him to return to Gaza because they and Qassam brigades need him.
He said them: “I can’t, I’m happy in Syria”.
So next time someone asks you if you’re all for the Free Syrian Army, think again about who you might be cheering on.
As for Qunneita, good riddance!

About Judge Dan

Dan Smith has been exposing anti-Israel fallacies since the first time he opened the world wide web on Netscape Navigator, sometime in the late 90's. His lack of formal journalistic, political and sociological education means he is still capable of objective, unbiased views and opinions. A judge of media, pundits and media pundits.

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  • Jim from Iowa

    This is precisely the argument the Obama Administration has been making against critics such as Sen. John McCain of his Syrian policy of not providing direct assistance to the rebel factions. Assad will go, probably sooner rather than later, but it is critical to the U.S. and our friends in the region that he not be replaced by an Islamist coallition hostile to Israel\’s existence.

    • Inessa Stinerman

      It might be critical to US, but the Obama administration is not doing anything to prevent exactly the same situation as Egypt. Assad will go, but there is no democratically elected pro-Western moderate, secular government putting up their hand to replace him. Not directly arming the Rebel army, will not prevent the same Moslem Brotherhood, or whatever version of Sunni islamist group from assuming their ascent to power. Not that Assad can be protected or left to continue to massacre his own people. The only thing US should do is to cut any financial aid to either side, and to keep making it clear that it\’s these conflicts, with their death tolls on incomprehensible scales, that are obstacles to peace, not building houses.

      • walt kovacs

        and what is obama supposed to do?

        wave a magic wand and change the mindset of the arab muslims?

        there is no pro western true democratic movement anywhere in the arab and/or muslim middle east

        you really bought into that green movement in iran hooey?

        best thing to do is to continue arming both sides and let them kill each other till there isnt a man standing

        then let the insanity spread

        then go in an mop up

  • Inessa

    \”there is no pro western true democratic movement anywhere in the arab and/or muslim middle east\”
    I was being sarcastic.
    There isn\’t much Obama can do now – either victor is going to be terrible. Arming both sides won\’t work as whichever barbaric murderers win, can turn the leftover arms on Israel.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Honorary

    I read this news from Pravda with such a delightment. I enjoy it so much and re-read it twice. Mr. Assad is strong to stand up against FUKUS (France, UK, US). Just because FUKAS had done to Egypt and Libya and supported the Arab Spring and Muslim terrorists. Just because there are rebels against Assad – did not mean Mr. Assad is a bad president, they do have many Syrians who are the patriots and supported him too.
    Obama\’s Arab Spring opened the door for Christian persecutions in the Middle East. Yet Assad protected the Christians. There was priest was murdered by the US backed rebels and many Christians have been killed or have fled their homes all because the American Nero wants it.

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