Arrest of West Bank Attackers 'Treason': Hamas
An elderly Palestinian man makes his way through an alley of Jerusalem's
Old City as he heads towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during the holy
fasting month of Ramadan. (AP)
File photo shows masked Palestinian Hamas militants holding a press
conference in Gaza City, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010. (AP)
Palestinians laborers from the West Bank sit together after being
detained by Israeli border police during an operation in search of illegal
workers in the coastal city of Ashkelon. (R)
GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) - Hamas on Wednesday accused the
Palestinian Authority of "treason" over its arrest of members of the Islamist
group in connection with the killing of Jewish settlers.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum called the arrests "national treason and direct
collaboration with the (Israeli) enemy" and warned the Western-backed authority
not to hand the men over to Israel.
"The continuation of this criminal campaign crosses all red lines and is direct
collaboration with the enemy in the light of day," Barhum said.
"It will only increase Hamas's determination to continue the resistance and
intensify our painful strikes on the Zionist enemy."
A Palestinian Authority official said security forces had arrested Hamas
members from separate cells linked to two drive-by shooting attacks last week
that killed four Israeli settlers and wounded two others.
The official, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, would not specify the
number of people arrested.
The first shooting on August 31 killed four settlers, including a pregnant
woman, and the second a day later wounded two settlers near Ramallah.
Hamas claimed responsibility for both attacks, which cast a pall over the
relaunch in Washington of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Hamas has accused the Palestinian Authority of arresting hundreds of its
members in the wake of the killings. Palestinian security officials had
previously denied making any arrests in connection with the attacks.
The attacks were condemned by both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, with
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas saying the shooting was intended to "disrupt
the political process."
The Islamist Hamas movement, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since June
2007, has vehemently opposed the new talks and insisted Abbas does not have the
right to negotiate on behalf of Palestinians.
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