Hamas denies Mossad breach of prime minister’s bureau

Hamas denies Mossad breach of prime minister’s bureau

Ismail Haniyeh’s office says government will press charges against an unnamed website for spreading false information

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Ismail Haniyeh, former Hamas prime minister, in the Gaza Strip (Abd Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Ismail Haniyeh, former Hamas prime minister, in the Gaza Strip (Abd Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The Hamas government in Gaza denied reports that the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, had recruited an employee at the office of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

A communique issued by the Hamas prime minister’s office on Sunday said the government will take legal action against an unnamed “suspicious” website which reported that an employee in Haniyeh’s office was arrested and then released shortly afterwards, the Ma’an news agency reported.

The Hamas government has been preoccupied with Israeli espionage ever since it seized control of the Gaza Strip in July 2007. During Operation Pillar of Defense in November, six suspected spies were summarily executed on the streets of Gaza.

Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hammad said Saturday that the terrorist movement recently arrested a “large number” of citizens suspected of spying for Israel. He added that the Interior Ministry only arrests a citizen after 90% of the information surrounding his activity has been ascertained.

“We will strike with an iron fist anyone who harms security in Gaza,” Hammad told Hamas’s Al-Resalah website, adding that his ministry would soon grant amnesty to spies who come forward and admit their ties with Israeli intelligence.

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