CBNNews.com - GAZA STRIP - Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip vowed to avenge the assassination of arch-terrorist Sheikh Nizar Rayyan.
Rayyan, 60, one of the five top leaders in Hamas, was killed Thursday, along with his four wives and 11 of his 12 children, in an air strike on his Jabalya residence.
Besides his role as spiritual leader of the terror group's military wing, Izz al-Din al-Qassam, the sheikh taught at Islamic University, where his students referred to him as "The Professor."
Rayyan was considered an authority on the Hadith -- the sayings of Islam's prophet, Mohammad.
Trained in Islamic universities in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Sudan, Rayyan began preaching incitement and terrorism in mosques when he returned to his home in Gaza.
"He was one of the most popular figures in Hamas," an Arab journalist, who knew Rayyan for nearly 20 years, told Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh.
Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri described the assassination as a "dangerous development" and "the crossing of red lines."
"The scope and response will be painful and proportionate to the scale of the killing," al-Masri said.
Rayyan will be buried today, but the group's top officials won't leave their hideouts to attend the funeral.
Source: YNet news