Hamas movement has infiltrated the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security apparatuses and recruited senior PA officials to spy for it, according to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.
High-ranking Palestinian officials told the Israeli newspaper that the PA military intelligence launched a secret investigation and alerted the Palestinian leadership after uncovering the plot.
The security officers recruited by Hamas were asked to provide information about planned operations against the movement and the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank.
Some were asked to spread false information within the security apparatuses to sow confusion and disrupt intelligence-gathering, Yedioth Ahronoth said.
Hamas also intended to use internal power struggles to its advantage.
“This operation, executed by senior Hamas officials in Gaza and the Hamas leadership abroad, was uncovered two months ago. According to Palestinian reports, all of the Hamas agents are under arrest,” the newspaper added.
Investigations uncovered that Hamas had infiltrated a number of Palestinian security agencies in several West Bank locations.
Investigators found Hamas spies in the general security services, national security services and police.
The movement had requested its operatives to relay information about the Palestinian security services’ plans in the Gaza Strip and their operations against Hamas infrastructure in the West Bank.
It has pursued multiple recruitment methods. Some members coerced into cooperation by arresting and exerting pressure on relatives living in Hamas-run Gaza, while others were lured through direct meetings with Hamas elements in the West Bank that promised them with cash.
According to the newspaper, some suspected Hamas agents have already confessed. All are believed to be in custody, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was briefed on the investigation process.
It quoted sources as saying that Hamas has been able to entice operatives with money since salaries of security personnel were cut by half as a result of Israel withholding tax revenue it collects for the PA.
Financial difficulty for PA security staff, especially leading up to the holy month of Ramadan, has made Hamas efforts more successful, Palestinian sources stressed.
Spokesman for the Palestinian security forces Maj. Gen. Adnan al-Dumeiri responded to the Israeli report, saying the PA security services had arrested two years ago only two operatives on charges of leaking information to Hamas.
“Such statements launched by the Hebrew media on the security services raise some doubts about the goals behind them,” Dumeiri told the official news agency.
His remarks confirm news on previous attempts by Hamas to recruit security men to spy on the PA, but they don’t reveal whether they succeeded or not.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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