Hamas says it arrested Western spies in Gaza

Gaza group claims to have caught spies from US, EU countries, half of whom allegedly confessed to collaborating with Israel.

Armed Palestinians hold suspected collaborator 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)
Armed Palestinians hold suspected collaborator 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)
Hamas has claimed it arrested Western spies from the US, UK, France and Germany that were operating in the Gaza Strip and targeting the organization, AFP reported on Saturday.
“The Gaza Strip is swarming with Western intelligence agencies, such as the American, British, French and German services,” Mohammed Lafi, a security chief, was quoted in the Hamas Interior Ministry website as saying.
Hamas has a “list of collaborators who will be arrested once the time for them to repent has run out,” Lafi was quoted as saying.
According to Lafi, half of the “collaborators” that have already been arrested confessed to their alleged crimes.
In March, Hamas set a one-month deadline ending April 11 for alleged Palestinian “collaborators” with Israel to surrender in return for leniency.
“This is a chance for all those who fell victims to the deception of Israeli security forces to return to their people,” a Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman said.
“This campaign is an appeal to our people to be on alert so as to foil the enemy’s espionage schemes,” the spokesman said. “The battle with the enemy is a long one.”
Hamas believes there are many Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who tipped off Israel about the location of rocket launchers, which were targeted during Operation Pillar of Defense in November of last year.
During the Gaza operation, Palestinian gunmen in Gaza executed people they accused of “collaborating” with Israel and filming positions of Hamas fighters.Khaled Abu Tomeh contributed to this report.