Hisham Abu Libda, a senior Hamas leader, head of the office of Khalid Mashal, the Hamas political bureau chief in Syria, died on Friday in Damascus, Israeli sources reported.The sources claimed the leader died in an assassination planned by the Israeli security services.

Hamas sources said that Hashim Abu Libda died in a car accident in the Syrian capital and was not assassinated by the Israeli army, the Maan News Agency reported.

The sources added that Abu Libda is not the head of Mashal’s office, but is the leaders of the Students Front in Damascus.

Maan added that Israeli media sources claimed that Abu Libda was assassinated but the Syrian authorities issued a gag order on the incident and the probe in its circumstances.

Maan also said that according to Israeli sources, Abu Libda was assassinated while Mashal was holding a meeting with the prince of Qatar.

Israel claims that Abu Libda was in charge of arranging communications between Mashal and Hamas activists in several areas including the Gaza Strip.

According to Israel, Abu Libda was also in charge of the public relations affairs between Mashal and the political and military leaders in Syria and Iran.

A senior Hamas leader said that “the news was fabricated by the Debka Zionist electronic news site which claimed that Abu Libda was assassinated”.

The Debka website said that Abu Libda was killed by a hit-and-run car and that the Syrian Authorities issued a gag order on the incident.

The Hamas-run red website Palestine-Info denied the claims of the Debka website but did not confirm and deny the death of Abu Libda.

“These news are fabricated, and are part of the Israeli occupations’ lies against Hamas and its leaders”, the website reported, “These fabricated news are a desperate Israeli attempt to cause chaos among Hamas and its members”.