PA Security Forces Arrest 25 Hamas Members
Palestinian Authority security forces arrested more than 25 members of the Hamas terror group over the past 48 hours, a security official told AFP on Thursday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that some of those arrested around Ramallah were in possession of explosives.
A Hamas source, however, told AFP that those arrested "were in possession of funds for distribution to prisoners but we are unaware of any possession of explosives or weapons."
In the past, the PA has arrested Hamas terrorists to prevent them from operating in Judea and Samaria, but it recently announced it will release Hamas-affiliated detainees as a goodwill gesture to boost reconciliation efforts between the Gaza terror group and the rival Fatah.
In recent months PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's security forces have failed to stop attempted terror attacks as they had done in the past. In fact, in one incident armed terrorists were allowed to publicly march and fire into the air in the Balata area of Shechem.
Last week the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said it had uncovered and apprehended a Hamas terror squad in Hevron, arresting some 20 members of the terror group’s armed wing.
The Shin Bet and army arrested "approximately 20 terrorists affiliated with Hamas who were planning a kidnapping attack in order to bargain for the release of prisoners," said a Shin Bet statement.
On Sunday it was reported that the Shin Bet and Border Guard had foiled on January 1 another attempt by Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists to kidnap an Israeli.
The attempted attack took place when members of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization tried to make their way into Israel through one of the crossings from PA territory.
The terror cell was arrested in a joint operation by Israeli security personnel as its members tried to enter Israel. Two of its members are residents of the PA city of Jenin, one is from Kalansawe, another is a resident of the northern Israeli Arab city of Umm el-Fahm, and another is an inmate in an Israeli prison.
Israeli security sources told AFP last week that Israel plans to step up arrests of suspected terrorists in the PA-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria to prevent recent civil unrest from turning into an uprising.