Israel is digging tunnels under the Gaza Strip in order to kidnap major figures in the Palestinian "resistance," Hamas Interior Minister Said Siam alleged Thursday in an interview with the London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat. According to Siam, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) was behind the kidnapping plot. Siam also claimed that Shin Bet agents were buying apartments in Gaza Strip towns in order to use them as bases from which to launch the kidnappings. Hamas security forces, he claimed, had arrested two Palestinian collaborators on suspicion that they had purchased an apartment near the home of the sister of Ra'ed Atar, a senior figure in Hamas's armed wing, with the intention of targeting Atar. Siam also addressed Hamas's relationship with Europe, asserting that Europe was gradually warming up to the Islamist rulers of the Strip. He told Asharq Al-Awsat that he himself had met a senior European figure several days earlier and discussed Hamas's stance in a variety of subjects.