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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