Report: Hamas leaders boost security

Leaders fear assassination from within organization; Fatah website: Haniyeh afraid to leave his house.

September 17, 2007 12:29
1 minute read.
Report: Hamas leaders boost security

Mahmoud Zahar 248.88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])

Hamas leaders are boosting their personal security over fears of assassination, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reported on Monday. "Hamas has boosted security around their leadership in the Gaza Strip due to fears that certain Palestinians will try to assassinate them," security sources in the organization told the paper. According to the sources, security will be especially strengthened for deposed Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar, as well as the chairman of the Hamas block in the PA parliament and former PA Interior Minister, Sayid Seyam. In a pamphlet, which was distributed by the group, Hamas warned that it would seriously harm anyone who assassinated their leaders. It called on its members to travel well protected and to take precautions. Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman Salah Bardawil denied reports of a disagreement between Zahar and deposed PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. "These rumors are coming at a time when Israel is beginning to assassinate Hamas leaders," Bardawil said. "The meaning of these lying rumors are that Zahar and Haniyeh are at the top of a list of those being targeted by Israel for assassination." Fatah-affiliated websites recently reported that a serious disagreement had erupted between the two Hamas leaders. According to one of the sites, Haniyeh had stopped leaving the Palestinian refugee camp in which he lives, out of fears that he would be attacked or murdered by men loyal to Zahar. The site quoted one source as saying that Haniyeh's house was constantly being guarded by armed security to prevent such an attack.

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