A senior Hamas official told Ynet on Thursday that Anwar Shheibar and Ahmad Hasnain, two officers in the Palestinian General Security Services suspected of being involved in the assassination of Hamas' Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, fled the Gaza Strip after Hamas took power. The suspects were arrested in Jordan and handed over to the Dubai police following the hit.
Shheibar is a resident of the Sabra neighborhood, west of Gaza City, and Hasnain is a member of one of the large families in the Sajaiya neighborhood. The two, both in their 30s, were members in what was known until a few years ago as "the death cells" led by Nabil Tamus, who claimed he was an associate of senior Fatah member Mohammad Dahlan.
These cells, according to Fatah rivals and Dahlan's rivals, regularly suppressed Palestinian Authority opponents, especially among Hamas members.
Tamus, who led the cells, also left the Gaza Strip around the time Hamas took power. According to Palestinian reports and according to the senior Hamas official, the three were employed by Mohammad Dahlan's real estate and investment firms in Dubai.
In the pat, Dahlan, for his part, vehemently denied conducting any such activities in the United Arab Emirates. "I don't have the towers people say I have in Dubai," he used to say in interviews with the media.
Both Shheibar and Hasnain recently received their salaries from the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Hamas claims that their arrest proves beyond any doubt that the PA had direct collaboration and deep operational involvement in every detail of the assassination.
Hamas also claims that the Mossad enjoyed logistical support from the two men, who lived in Dubai in recent years, and thus were deeply familiar with the UAE. Hamas said publicly in the past few days that the two are associated with Dahlan's camp.
PA denies claimsSpokesperson for the PA security forces, Adnan Demeiri, flatly denied the claims.
It should be noted that four of Hasnain's family members were killed after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip during an operation Hamas claimed targeted "anarchy hubs" that dealt in illegally weapons possession and a broad-range of illegal activity.
In addition, a source in Fatah denied in a conversation with Ynet that the two are tied to the organization or to Dahlan. The source reported that Shheibar was expelled in 2002 from the defense forces led by Dahlan.
Furthermore, the sources said that Shheibar returned to the Gaza Strip two month after the Hamas take-over and remained there for about two years. After he made arrangements in Dubai, Shheibar purportedly left for the UAE from the Gaza Strip, and not from Ramallah as claimed by Hamas.
The source also reported that Hasnain was never in Ramallah and that he was detained in Israel for four months after trying to escape the Gaza Strip via Erez Crossing. However, following his release, the source said, he lived in Gaza.
"Neither Shheibar and Hasnain were arrested in any of the arrest waves carried out by Hamas, even though they are former Palestinian security officials. This raises a lot of question marks regarding the Hamas' reasons for pardoning them and not arresting them," the source said.