Haniyeh - A target bank
Photo: AP
Abbas - Helping Israel?
Photo: Reuters

Haniyeh: Fatah spying in Gaza for Israel

Hamas leader reacts to Palestinian Authority's arrest of Hamas cell in West Bank plotting to assassinate senior PA officials, says his men know of similar cells operating in Gaza against Hamas

Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah are continuing to trade accusations following the collapse of the reconciliation talks between them. Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, claimed on Monday that Fatah cells are operating in the Gaza Strip and collecting intelligence for the Palestinian Authority and Israel.


The claim is inversely identical to the one made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who said his forces had exposed a Hamas cell in Ramallah.


Speaking during a visit to a Gaza mosque, Haniyeh said that the Fatah cells were receiving funding and instructions from defense and political officials in Ramallah. The Hamas leader charged that the cells were working to create a "target bank" in Gaza, and vowed that Hamas' security forces would continue their efforts to prevent these cells from "carrying out attacks and compromising the security of Gaza's residents."


Abbas confirmed last week that an imminent attack planned by the Hamas cell was thwarted. In an interview with Russian television, Abbas said: "The Palestinian Authority is closely monitoring the situation, and when the time is right we will expose those involved in this affair. For now we must wait. We have verified information that Hamas is hoarding weapons and explosives. The Authority has found two tons of explosives belonging to Hamas."


The Palestinian president said that Hamas was also amassing light, medium and heavy arms, machine guns, RPG launchers, and presidential guard uniforms. "We are monitoring the situation, we know there is a cell seeking to carry out assassinations of senior PA officials."


Abbas stressed that the PA was not carrying out politically-motivated arrests of Hamas men, but just detaining those seeking to harm its security. He implied he was pessimistic that the reconciliation talks with Hamas would succeed.


פרסום ראשון: 07.06.09, 17:08
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