CBSN

Hamas accuses Israel of assassinating its drone expert

Masked Palestinian militants from the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, a military wing of Hamas, attend a house morning of Mohammed Alzoari, a Tunisian aviation engineer who was shot dead in Tunisia on Thursday, at the unknown soldier square in Gaza City, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016.

Adel Hana, AP

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Hamas has accused Israel of assassinating a Tunisian aviation expert through its network of spies.

Mohammed Alzoari, a 49-year-old engineer who supervised the militant group’s drone program, was found gunned down in his car near his home in Sfax, Tunisia, on Thursday. 

Hamas said it considers Alzoari’s killing a targeted assassination and vowed to retaliate. 

The Israeli military had no comment.

Hamas said Alzoari joined its military wing in 2006 and led the development of its drones. It published a poster showing Alzoari with an unmanned drone in what appeared to be a training session. The poster bore the logo of Hamas’ armed wing and referred to Alzoari as a commander. 

On Sunday, Hamas militants received dozens of mourners, including officials and gunmen from other Palestinian groups, in a tent erected in a Gaza City park. 

Hamas claims it has both surveillance and attack drones. During the 2014 Gaza-Israel conflict, Hamas released aerial footage of parts of Israel. In September, Israeli warplanes shot down a Hamas surveillance drone off the Gaza coast.

It’s not known whether the group has attack drones.