The arrest of two Palestinians suspected of being involved in the assassination of a senior Hamas official in Dubai, as well as the publication of video clips depicting the assassins, has reignited the finger pointing between Hamas and Fatah.
Hamas claimed Tuesday that the two arrested men, who served in the Palestinian security forces, are proof that the Palestinian Authority played a role in the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh on January 20. The PA denied the allegations. "If they want, Hamas can reveal the identity of the suspects," challenged the PA.
Police in the United Arab Emirates announced Monday at the hotel in which the assassination took place that two Palestinians were arrested on suspicions that they were involved in the hit. According to a report in the al-Arabiya news network, Jordan handed over the two suspects to Dubai.
Al-Jazeera added that one member of the duo met with the cell's commander, a French citizen known as Peter Elvinger. The other man, according to the report, served in a security position in the Palestinian Authority.
Hamas spokesman, Ayman Taha, said Tuesday that the PA's involvement in Mabhouh's assassination stems from its defense cooperation with Israel. Taha called on UAE authorities not to keep information from Hamas. "This development obligates the Dubai authorities to allow for cooperation with representatives of the Hamas movement in the investigation," Taha asserted.
The PA has denied the allegations and claimed that two men were actually Hamas operatives. A spokesman for the Palestinian security forces,, Adnan al-Dmeiri, said that the two detainees received their rankings from the Palestinian police in the Gaza Strip and are members of the Islamic movement's militia.
"If their claims are correct, they can reveal the names of the suspects and the organizations in which they worked. We, for our part, do not want to reveal the names and are leaving this up to the Dubai police," said al-Dmeiri.
The Dubai Police are refusing in the meantime to reveal the suspects' identities, apparently in an effort to avoid embarrassing one of the parties.
If the two indeed are Hamas members, this would explain the Dubai Police's refusal to allow Hamas to participate in the investigations.
Meanwhile, Europe has not confirmed any connection with the European passport holders who apparently comprised the assassination ring. However, British government officials pointed fingers at the Mossad.
British newspaper Daily Telegraph reported Monday that there has been no verification of the alleged killers' identities. Among the 11 members of the ring, six of them held British passports, and three of them held Irish passports. Another member had German citizenship, and yet another, apparently the ring leader, held French citizenship.