Zahar: Hamas will pursue 'Israeli spies'

Says group used US aid to buy arms; warns of bombs in West Bank struggle.

June 23, 2007 17:08
2 minute read.
Zahar: Hamas will pursue 'Israeli spies'

dahlan tough 298.88. (photo credit: AP [file])


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Hamas will go after "Israeli spies" in Gaza and might use bombs in its struggle with Fatah in the West Bank, a leading Hamas hardliner in Gaza was quoted as saying Saturday. The comments by Mahmoud Zahar, a founding member of Hamas, suggested that his group's offer of amnesty to Fatah members was not ironclad and that Hamas would try to destabilize the Fatah-controlled West Bank. Zahar, who is close to the Hamas military wing, spoke in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel. His comments were published on the magazine's Web site.

  • Hamas: Fatah gave information to Israel Zahar is widely seen as one of the key players in Hamas's violent takeover of Gaza in mid-June. He staunchly opposed the brief government coalition between Hamas and Fatah and leads the movement's hard-line wing. In response to the takeover, the security forces of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas arrested scores of Hamas activists in the West Bank, and Fatah-allied gunmen seized others, in some cases shooting them in the legs. Zahar said Hamas loyalists in the West Bank would defend themselves in the same way they had targeted Israel during years of the Palestinian uprising - with bombs and attacks, according to the magazine. He said Hamas would also go after "Israeli spies," an apparent reference to Fatah loyalists close to former Gaza strongman Muhammad Dahlan, who now lives in the West Bank. Hamas has repeatedly denounced Dahlan as a traitor because he favors dialogue with Israel and the US and has participated in many high-level meetings with Western officials. Immediately after the takeover, Hamas had offered an amnesty to Fatah activists and members of the security forces, but Zahar's threat seemed to undermine that promise. Zahar was quoted as saying that Hamas was prepared to "speak with the Israelis" in order to reopen Gaza's border crossings, closed since the five-day battle that led to Hamas rule in Gaza. He warned of chaos if Israel did not relent. "People wouldn't starve to death before violently storming the borders," he told the magazine. "Israel also loses $2 million in business income for every day the border stays closed." But he ruled out political negotiations. Zahar claimed that Hamas had used US aid to purchase weapons, adding that the group possessed "huge stockpiles" of arms. The Hamas hardliner bragged that he had carried two suitcases of cash from Iran, for a total of $42 million, into Gaza. However, the border is now closed, and he did not explain how money could find its way into Gaza in the future.

    Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

  • Related Content

    A player is pictured during his
    July 18, 2019
    Obesity a Continuing Challenge in Middle East


    Cookie Settings