Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas commented on Monday evening for the first time about the Israel Security Agency’s (Shin Bet) revelation that it foiled a Hamas network's plot to carry out a coup in Judea and Samaria.
In a statement quoted on Channel 2 News, Abbas said that the implications of the revealed plot “will be serious for the Palestinian and regional situation, especially after Israeli officials published a list and pictures of confiscated weapons."
Abbas stressed that the reports endanger the unity of the Palestinian people as its leadership tries to form a unity government.
"We are living in the shadow of the war in Gaza and under the shadow of the presence of a unity government, which is why this new information is a real danger to the unity of the Palestinian people and its future," he said, according to Channel 2 News.
According to the Shin Bet, the Hamas infrastructure in Judea and Samaria was controlled by a Hamas HQ in Turkey. The plot was to carry out a series of cruel terror attacks against Israel and create a situation of security instability, then take advantage of that situation to take over the PA.
Israel announced that 93 Hamas terrorists were arrested in the operation. Of these, 46 were taken to interrogation by the ISA. Hamas terror funds amounting to over 600,000 shekels (about $170,000) were confiscated and weapons including 54 guns, 6 handguns and 7 RPGs were seized.
The network was assisted by an additional array in Jordan and on carriers, who carried funds amounting to over 2 million NIS into Judea and Samaria for the purchase of weapons and hideout apartments.
Responding to the revelation, Finance Committee Chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home) on Monday called to suspend all notions of renewed peace talks.
"Today, once again, it was proven that it is impossible to abandon the security of Israel and the Palestinian Authority," said Slomiansky. "It's time to wake up from the dreamland that the Left lives in and understand that only a constant military and political presence in Judea and Samaria will prevent Gush Dan [Tel Aviv area - ed.] from becoming 'the Judea and Samaria belt' [a reference to the 'Gaza belt' region - ed.]."
Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) agreed.
"The Hamas coup proves that whoever thought that the establishment of a unity government between Fatah and Hamas in the Palestinian Authority would mean the PA could control Hamas was wrong," Akunis fired. "Reality has proven that the opposite almost happened, where Hamas nearly took over the PA in Judea and Samaria."
"This publication is a warning sign," Akunis continued. "It sharpens the understanding that we should not acquiesce to the Left's dreams, illusions, and innocence, which could turn into a nightmare for all of us."
The discovery calls into question the claim by several leftist MKs - as well as most of the international community, including the UN, EU, and even the US - that the PA's "government of technocrats" was impervious to Hamas terror.
By contrast, several nationalist politicians - including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu himself - predicted that the unity pact would lead to a Hamas takeover in Judea and Samaria.