Hamas has accused Palestinian Authority intelligence officials of helping Israel to kill radical Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata last month and released CCTV footage of the airstrike on the northern Gaza safe house at which he and his wife were staying when the strike took place.
The terror group said Sunday it has detained those responsible for the collaboration with Israel that resulted in al-Ata's elimination.
Baha Abu al-Ata, one of just two high-ranking Islamic Jihad commanders located in Gaza, was responsible for the construction of Iranian-designed ordnance in the Strip and for overseeing numerous attacks on Israeli civilian targets.
He was eliminated in a surgical strike by the Israel Air Force on November 12. Islamic Jihad responded with massive artillery strikes on Israel, effectively paralyzing the south for two days.
According to Hamas, Israel received information about the location of al-Ata from members of a team from the PA's General Intelligence Service, located in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
The video released by Hamas also claims to shows members of the PA intelligence team confessing to collaborating with Israel's Shin Bet security service, but since their voices and faces are masked, the authenticity of the confessions is hard to determine.
After al-Ata's assassination, rumors circulated in the Palestinian territories connecting Hamas to the killing, which analysts say spurred the group to produce a confession to refute such accusations. The rumors were said to have been further given credence by the fact that Hamas did not participate in the subsequent attacks on Israel from Gaza and by its well-known belief that the radical commander was a threat to achieving calm with Israel.
Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior member of the Fatah organization that dominates the PA, rejected the charge of collusion with Israel, saying that Hamas was trying to distract from its own role in the killing.
"This accusation [of working with Israel] is Hamas seeking to escape its responsibility for selling out Abu al-Ata in order to negotiate a deal with Israel," he said.
First published: 12:39 , 12.30.19