By Ali Saleh
London, Asharq Al-Awsat -
Zaarir informed Asharq Al-Awsat that a group of arrested Hamas cadres confessed to monitoring senior official’s convoys, including that of President Mahmoud Abbas. Zaarir refused to go into detail, but stressed that this issue is related to the security apparatus.
According to sources, upon their arrest, the Hamas members were in possession of weapons, maps, and photographs of senior officials. The presence of photographs and maps indicated that members of the group were spying on President Mahmoud Abbas himself. Zaarir’s statements confirmed a report published by the Israeli Haaretz newspaper last Friday. The article cited an unnamed Palestinian security source who revealed that the arrested Hamas members were monitoring the movements of the Palestinian president, and that the motivation behind this was to assassinate him.
A Hamas spokesman described these accusations as “desperate.” Mushir al Masri, the Secretary-General of the Hamas parliamentary bloc told Asharq Al-Awsat that “this is a desperate attempt to justify the massacre committed by the government against Hamas in the West Bank in order to pave the way for the implementation of the Road Map [for Peace] and security coordination [with Israel].”
“This is a transparent policy by the government in Ramallah that our Palestinian people have become used to. It is an attempt to cover up the killings and arrests practiced against members of Hamas and the resistance in the West Bank.”
Al Masri added, “They have accustomed us to talk of uncovering a cell here or there, but until now we have not heard of any [government] official being exposed to an attack or an attempted assassination.”
Not the first time, a video was uncovered last year of Hamas members in a tunnel loaded with explosives under a road Abbas was to drive along.