Dozens of Hamas
men were arrested and taken on for questioning by Palestinian Authority security forces overnight Wednesday as part of the efforts to track down the terrorists behind the deadly shooting attack
near Hebron, which claimed the lives of four Israelis.
The PA's investigation into Tuesday evening's deadly attack is independent.
PA security personnel raided the homes of dozens of Hamas men throughout the West Bank. The Authority said it has yet to obtain any specific information that could lead to the terrorists behind the attack, but Palestinian officials said they had warned of a possible attempt Hamas and its exiled leader Khaled Mashaal to cause upheaval in the West Bank and take it over.
However, the PA said areas that are under its full control remain calm. The Authority stressed that the shooting attack occurred in an area that is under full Israeli security control.
In an apparent reference to Syria, PA officials told Ynet that Hamas has been given a green light by sponsoring countries to carry out attacks.
One Palestinian official expressed hope that settlers would not use Tuesday's attack "as an excuse" to "wreak havoc" in the West Bank, saying such a response would hurt the direct peace talks.
The IDF believes Hamas planned the attack to impede the direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which are scheduled to kick off in Washington on Thursday.
Hamas' armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, claimed "full responsibility for the heroic operation in Hebron. Our men have returned safely to their bases."
"This attack is a chain in a series of attacks, some have been executed, and others will follow," spokesman Abu Ubaida said.
He further noted, "This attack is a chain in a series of attacks, some have been executed, and others will follow."
Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report