Sunday 12 October 2008 (12 Shawwal 1429)

      Hamas bomb factory found in Hebron
      Mohammed Mar'i | Arab News 
      RAMALLAH, West Bank: The chief of Palestinian police in the West Bank 
city of Hebron, Col. Ramadan Awad, yesterday said that his forces raided a 
Hamas bomb-making factory in the city and arrested 11 suspects. Awad said the 
raid on what he described as "a huge factory" took place Friday in a 
residential area in the city where many Hamas supporters live.

      "We have seized explosives and prevented a catastrophe," he said, adding 
that those detained were being interrogated.

      Awad said police had been monitoring the group for some time. The group 
belonged to Hamas and was responsible for manufacturing and storing around 100 
kg of explosives in an abandoned house in a residential area. The development 
comes days after a senior Palestinian security source said that Israel has 
authorized a request by the Palestinian Authority to deploy security forces in 
Hebron as part of efforts to check the growing influence of Hamas there.

      Talks progress

      Meanwhile, a senior Fatah official said yesterday that Hamas had accepted 
an Egyptian reconciliation plan for ending the factional division in Palestine.

      "Hamas' approval of the Egyptian reconciliation plan is a welcomed step 
forward in attempts to end the rift between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank," 
Nabil Shaath, who heads the Fatah delegation to the talks with Egyptian 
mediators, told the local news agency Ma'an. "The Egyptians told me personally 
that Hamas has accepted the reconciliation plan, a thing that," Shaath added.

      - With input from Hisham Abu Taha

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