Hamas denies Shin Bet claims over West Bank operations
Published Wednesday 13/03/2013 (updated) 17/03/2013 17:30
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas on Wednesday denied claims by Israel's Shin Bet security agency that it is planning operations against Israel in the West Bank.
Shin Bet said Wednesday that Gaza's Interior Minister Fathi Hammad was behind efforts to launch attacks from the West Bank, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Interior Ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan said the Israeli claims were related to a Hamas crackdown on collaborators.
"Accusing the Minister of Interior Fathi Hammad of planning operations in the West Bank is an attempt to avert the eyes of the public off Hamas' campaign against collaborators," Shahwan told Ma'an.
He added that Israel's intelligence agency had telephoned some of its informers in Gaza and told them not to hand themselves in. On Tuesday, Hamas said it had a list of collaborators working in Gaza and offered an amnesty to those who surrendered by April 11.
According to Shahwan, several informers have already given themselves up.
The Shin Bet said Wednesday that Hamas was setting up "terrorist cells" in the West Bank and recruiting militants to plant bombs, kidnap a soldier and launch rockets.
"The activities of Hammad -- one of the senior leaders of Hamas in Gaza, and an interior minister who is obligated to maintain quiet -- is a gross violation of the ceasefire agreement.
"This also illustrates the extent of the involvement by senior Hamas members in setting up terror attacks against targets in the West Bank and Israel, despite their commitments to Egypt to uphold a truce," the Shin Bet said.