Among the many reactions to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, one of the more unusual was from Qatar, with media citing the Ten Commandments in Hebrew to admonish Israel.
Qatari Media Blames Israel, US, and Saudi Arabia
Though many have blamed Israel, the Middle East Media Research Institute reported that Jaber Al-Harmi, a prominent Qatari reporter whose articles have appeared in Western media, went so far as to imply that Saudi Arabia had joined with Israel to eliminate the Iranian nuclear scientist. On Friday, Al-Harmi tweeted the following:
“The timing of the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakrizadeh is no coincidence. [The assassination] occurred following Israeli declarations and leaks about a meeting that took place between [Saudi Crown Prince] Mohammed bin Salman and Netanyahu. This suggests that there is an Israeli-Saudi agreement on the matter. The incident will increase Saudi-Iranian tension and as a result, cause more anarchy in the region.”
Though Saudi participation in the assassination may sound bizarre to some, it has been suggested by some in the media that this is very much the opinion of the Iranian government. In his first reaction to Fakhrizadeh’s death, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “The enemies are experiencing stressful weeks. They are mindful that the global situation is changing, and are trying to make the most of these days to create unstable conditions in the region.”
The BBC explained Rouhani’s remark by identifying the “enemies”:
“When Mr. Rouhani refers to Iran’s ‘enemies’, he is evidently talking about the Trump administration, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.”
The BBC article went on to cite the recent Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi attack on an Aramco facility in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia as further motivation for Saudi participation in the assassination.
Al-Harmi reiterated the Qatari foreign minister’s condemnation of the assassination.
Lebanese Journalist Displays Torah’s Ten Commandments to Admonish Israel
Perhaps even more bizarre was a tweet by Ghada Oueiss, a Lebanese journalist for Al Jazeera, who chided Israel for the assassination by citing the Ten Commandments, posting an image of the Hebrew language commandments for all of her Arabic speaking, and presumably Muslim readers to consider, saying, “Oh Israel, thou shalt not murder – [From] the Ten Commandments!.”
— Ghada Oueiss غادة عويس (@ghadaoueiss) November 28, 2020
Oueiss also tweeted: “In other words, now Israel is permitted to send its agents to murder anyone it views as a danger to itself, as if we live in the jungle? While Iran – which issues threats day and night, challenges what it refers to as ‘the arrogance’ [i.e. the US] and recruits its proxies in the capitals of other countries – cannot defend [one of its own] citizens on its own soil, when he is a known to be a target, against an assassination operation in broad daylight? Absurd.”
Qatari Media Blames UAE
MEMRI noted that Qatari media also implicated the United Arab Emirates in the assassination, citing a Twitter exchange between “Abu Hassan” and Qatari “Bughanim” who often criticizes the UAE and has over 30,000 followers. Abu Hassan wrote: “There is no need to prove the role of Abu Dhabi [in the assassination] – merely to connect this to its decision to prevent citizens of Arab and Islamic countries such as Lebanon from entering its territory. I don’t think this is just a coincidence.” Bughanim asked in response: “Do you think that the UAE fears [retaliatory] operations on its territory from Hizbullah supporters and Iran?” Abu Hassan replied: “Yes, that is the intention, in addition to Iranian cells in other Islamic countries like Yemen.”
Remote Controlled From Satellite
Though initial reports described the assassination as being carried out through the use of a truck bomb, Iranian sources are claiming it was carried out remotely. On Sunday, the Fars news website said a remote-operated machine gun was mounted on the pick-up truck that later exploded. On Monday, state television’s English-language channel Press TV reported a weapon recovered from the scene of the attack bore “the logo and specifications of the Israeli military industry”. Al-Alam, the state broadcaster’s Arabic-language channel, claimed the weaponry used was “controlled by satellite”. All of the news outlets cited unnamed sources