Hamas ‘Bomb Factory’ Found in West Bank

Palestinian security officials said on Sunday that they had found a Hamas bomb-making factory underneath a mosque in the occupied West Bank.

"Security forces found a bomb-making factory inside a mosque in Qalqiliya," an interior ministry statement said. "Many of the bombs were ready to use and many of them were of industrial grade."

A senior security official told AFP that Fatah-led Palestinian security forces had detained "many" people for questioning after the discovery, and said the "factory belongs to Hamas."

The claim was likely to increase tensions between the two main factions whose long-running feud exploded in June 2007 when the Islamist Hamas group booted out Fatah loyalists from Gaza after a week of deadly street battles.

The move left Fatah’s power base confined to the West Bank and since then the rivals have accused each other of persecuting their members.

Egypt has sought for months to mediate reconciliation talks with the aim of creating a unity government, but earlier this month it said was putting those efforts temporarily on hold.
Money Bound for Hamas

Egyptian security sources said Saturday they have detained a man who was transporting $2 million to north Sinai to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip to Hamas.

The incident came one day after the Egyptian police detained 15 people over accusations that they helped smuggle rockets into the Hamas-run Gaza Strip via border tunnels.

The police said they had confiscated the outer shells of 60 rockets from a metal workshop in the Sinai town of Sheikh Zuwayed, near the closed Rafah border crossing with Gaza.

Egypt is eager to show it is doing all it can to stop arms, money or aid reaching Hamas. Egyptian authorities regularly stop Hamas officials from bringing large sums of money into Gaza.

In March, Egyptian security forces blocked two Hamas officials from entering the Gaza Strip with around $900,000 in cash, and in February they forced Hamas official Ayman Taha to deposit more than $11 million in cash in a bank in al-Arish.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah said on Friday that Egyptian authorities had arrested a Hezbollah member who had been offering logistical help to Palestinians in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
(Agencies and Alarabiya.net)

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