Tirawi, pointing a finger at Hamas
Photo: AFP
Fatah leader says Hamas stopped relatives from committing suicide attacks
Palestinian West Bank intelligence commander says Hamas spokesman in the Strip asked Fatah to arrest his brother before committing suicide attack in Israel; he also blames Iran and Syria for helping Hamas occupy Gaza Strip
Taufik Tirawi, the Palestinian intelligence commander in the West Bank, said Sunday that senior Hamas members who had encouraged suicide attacks against Israel, did everything to prevent their own relatives from executing these attacks.


At a Ramallah press conference, Tirawi said that the brother of Hamas spokesman in the Strip was listed to commit a suicide attack in Israel.


However, shortly before he was to be sent on the mission, the spokesman called the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and demanded that they put off his brother's operation.


"We arrested the brother before he carried out the attack and managed to smuggle him into the Gaza Strip," he said.


He also blamed Iran and Syria for helping Hamas occupy the Gaza Strip.

Tirawi at Sunday's press conference in Ramallah. (Photo: AFP)


Tirawi rejected allegations that Fatah activists had killed Hamas operatives in the West Bank. He stated that investigations among the Palestinian security forces revealed that several members had been killed over the last few weeks because of internal conflicts within the movement.


He added that Fatah was not cooperating with Israel. He called on Hamas to name any Hamas member who was assassinated by the security forces.


"I dare Hamas to tell the world how their senior members Abu Shanab, Makadmeh, al-Ghul, and "the Engineer" Yihyeh Ayash were killed. Let the Hamasniks reveal who told the Israelis that the commander of their military branch, Salah Shehade, would be in his Gaza home when it was bombarded," he challenged Hamas.


Tirawi said that Israel managed to assassinate these Palestinians after infiltrating the Hamas ranks. He also mentioned that members of the Palestinian security forces hid Hamas members from the Israelis.


"Ask Muhammad Deif where he hid throughout the intifada. We are a national organization that works for Palestinian interests, and Hamas' claims as if we are cooperating with Israel are a moral collapse of the movement, aimed at covering up their own crimes against the legal authority."


In addition to the wave of Hamas militants' arrests in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority is preparing to take over all the movement's non-profit organization and charities. If they succeed, it will be a fatal blow to Hamas and its political branch, which is considered the movement's strong point, through which it recruits many members and supporters.


Palestinian official: do not believe Abbas

On the other side, other Palestinian Authority senior members are calling upon Israel not to believe Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.


Spokesman of the Palestinian Interior Ministry in Haniyeh's dismissed government, Abu Halal, who has meanwhile retired from Fatah and formed a splinter movement, Fatah el Yasser, named after Yasser Arafat, appealed to Israel not to place its bets on Mahmoud Abbas at the four-way summit scheduled for Monday in Sharm al-Sheikh.


"Israel should not gamble on an authority and a government that were not capable of defending themselves," he said. "How do you expect it to protect you and provide your security?"


He added that "Israel's government is strong and making false promises, based on threats." He also said that neither Olmert's government nor the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas would bring security for Israel.


He called for a change in Israeli policy and emphasized that there was no chance for peace in the Middle East as long as Israel, he said, continued its crimes against Palestinians.


פרסום ראשון: 06.24.07, 18:14
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