(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas sources denied over the weekend reports that the former interior minister in the Hamas government in Gaza, Fathi Hammad, defected to Israel after it was discovered that he was a Mossad agent.
The sources said that "the reports being published in a number of media outlets that Hamas official Fathi Hammad escaped abroad are groundless."
In comments made to the Fatah-affiliated Al-Kuffiah website, a source said that "Hammad has not fled Gaza and was not arrested on suspicion of collaborating with the security service of a country in the region, as was reported in the media."
He added that "the reports about Hammad are far from the truth, which is that he is continuing to act among the leadership of Hamas."
A day before the reports, Hammad was quoted as saying, "There is no phenomenon of collaboration with Israel." He said that "Israel enlists agents on an individual basis, therefore it is impossible to reveal additional collaborators through interrogation of a collaborator who is arrested by Palestinian security forces."