Monday, 16 March 2015

Hamas says videos reveal PA collaborators who helped Israel kill resistance fighters

Hamas on Saturday released a series of videos which it says contain confessions by agents working for the Palestinian Authority who passed information to Israel that was used to attack the Gaza Strip.

In at least one case, Hamas says that information a collaborator passed to his PA handler was used by Israel to target and kill one of its members.

One of the videos contains what Hamas says are confessions from PA officers that they were behind a recent series of car burnings that were intended to sow chaos and instability in Gaza.

The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has dismissed the Hamas claims.

Confessions of a collaborator?

One video shows a person who is described as “one of the spies collaborating with the Preventive Security who was arrested due to his suspicious behavior of monitoring resistance fighters” during last summer’s Israeli assault on Gaza.

The Preventive Security is one of the intelligence agencies of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas.

The man’s face is obscured and his name is not given in order to protect his family, the video states.

There is an enormous stigma attached to having a family member accused of collaboration in tight-knit Gaza, as in other occupied territories throughout history.

(In August, in the midst of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, Hamas executed a number of individuals it said were collaborators, prompting condemnation from local and international human rights organizations.)

The unnamed suspect does however name his handler as Preventive Security officer Ahmad Abd al-Halim Abu Shawqa.

“Ahmad [Abu Shawqa] got in touch with me during the war,” the suspect says. “He used to ask me for information about where rockets were being launched from.” He adds that he was asked to look out for weapons, especially rockets and anti-aircraft missiles.

The man also says he was asked about who frequented the local mosque and to find out who had recently been recruited into the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.

He says that he passed on information about one Abdallah Arafat Eid Shamaligh, a resident of the Sheikh Ajlin district of Gaza.

According to the video, Shamaligh, a 37-year-old father of five who was a member of the Qassam Brigades, “was killed after he was informed on by this spy.”

The video claims that Hamas was able to match many instances of information accused collaborators say they provided their handlers with actual Israeli attacks. more

Just 6 months after war, Hamas says Gaza bases near border rebuilt

The military wing of Hamas on Saturday said that it had rebuilt a number of military bases near the Israeli border in the Gaza Strip, asserting that it had recovered from Israel's summer offensive and was "not afraid" of confronting the occupation again.

"No sooner has the war come to an end, than the al-Qassam Brigades started a new stage of the conflict in preparation for the battle of liberation," a report on the official website of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades said.

The report said that fighters from the group had rebuilt military training sites near the border in the north, east, and west of the Gaza Strip, giving lie to Israeli claims that "Operation Protective Edge" in July-August 2014 had caused the group serious damage.

Israel's aim in the operation had been to end rocket fire from Gaza, which Hamas says comes in response to Israel's continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

But at the end of 50 days of warfare, Palestinian militant groups continued firing rockets into Israel. They also managed to confront Israeli forces in a number of battles across Gaza after the military launched a ground invasion. more