September 23, 2010
Announcement comes after Hamas military court sentenced a Palestinian accused of assisting Israel's secret service to death by firing squad.Hamas said on Thursday it had arrested "many" Palestinians in Gaza on suspicion of collaborating with Israel to kill senior members of the enclave's Islamic rulers and bomb training sites and government offices.
The announcement came as a Hamas military court sentenced a Palestinian man accused of assisting Israel's secret service to death by firing squad, security sources said.
Ehab Al-Ghsain, spokesman for Gaza's interior ministry, said some of the suspected collaborators were accused of aiding Israel in a late 2008 war in which 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.
"The phenomena (collaboration) is small but we have arrested many," Abu Abdallah Lafi, a senior official in Hamas internal security service, told a news conference. He would not say how many people were detained but said they included some women.
Ghsain asserted the suspects posed "a real danger to the unity of the people and their resistance" against Israel, which has sealed off the narrow coastal enclave by land, sea and air.
Hamas security had obtained "serious confessions and uncovered many collaborators who stood behind assassinations of some leaders of resistance and implemented policies of the enemy's intelligence service against our people", Ghsain said.
Some of the suspects had planted bombs at training camps and government offices that caused Palestinian casualties, while others had helped to facilitate Israeli raids into Gaza and assassinations of militants, he said.
Investigations were continuing.
Among those Israel had killed with Palestinian assistance, Ghsain said, was the ex-commander of the Islamic Jihad group, Majed Al-Harazeen, whose car was hit in a 2007 air strike aided by an informer who provided his license plate number.
Lafi showed reporters a display of what he described as Israeli-made communication equipment he said had been used by the alleged collaborators.
Ghsain said some suspects who surrendered to the authorities would be "rehabilitated" rather than prosecuted, and their identities would not be published.
In April, Hamas authorities executed two Palestinians convicted of collaborating with Israel.
Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 after a brief civil war with the forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose authority the Islamists no longer recognize.