Hamas warns Israel against harming minister

Warning comes after Shin Bet report said Hamas Interior Minister Hammad was involved in plotting attacks against Israel.

March 15, 2013 02:50
Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hammad [file].

Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hammad 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

The Hamas government on Thursday warned Israel against harming its interior minister, Fathi Hammad.

The warning came in response to a Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) report that said that Hammad had been involved in plotting attacks against Israel.

The report, which was published Wednesday, revealed that Hammad had appointed a number of close aides affiliated with Hamas and the Defenders of al-Aksa group to smuggle explosives into the West Bank.

The attempts were foiled by the Shin Bet, the report said.

The Shin Bet report was based on information from interrogations of Hamas terror suspects who were arrested in the Ramallah area in recent weeks.

Taher a-Nunu, spokesman for the Hamas government, accused Israel of “inciting” against Hammad. He said the charges “carry serious indications.”

The spokesman warned Israel against harming or targeting Hammad, who is in charge of Hamas’s security apparatus in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas also claimed on Thursday that the allegations against Hammad were linked to its ongoing crackdown on Palestinians suspected of “collaboration” with Israel.

Hammad was appointed interior minister after Israel killed his predecessor, Said Siam, during the 2008-9 Operation Cast Lead.

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