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Hamas Accused of Security Escalation in West Bank

Hamas Accused of Security Escalation in West Bank

Monday, 20 January, 2020 - 08:00
FILE PHOTO: Palestinians fly balloons loaded with flammable material to be thrown at the Israeli side, near the Israel-Gaza border in the central Gaza Strip, June 4, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
Ramallah - Asharq Al-Awsat

Hamas Movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, has increased efforts to create tension in the West Bank, Israeli security sources said Sunday.

The Hebrew Walla website quoted the sources as saying that Hamas officials have decided to plot attacks on occupation soldiers and settlers in the West Bank.

The website said such measures coincide with tension at the Aqsa Mosque after Israel announced a project at Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi in Hebron to serve Jews, in addition to its intention to destroy the wholesale market in the city.

Walla wrote that Hamas’ decision to escalate came despite Egyptian efforts to reach a truce agreement in Gaza.

“There are Israeli fears that operations would resume in the West Bank,” the website said, adding that the Israeli Army and Shabak (Israel's secret police) apparatus were able to neutralize 12 cells that plotted attacks in the area.

On Saturday, Israel's Border Police arrested a Palestinian woman in her fifties who had attempted to carry out a stabbing attack near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, while an Israeli was moderately injured in a stabbing attack near the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, close to Hebron.

The tension in the West Bank came amid a flare-up in the Gaza Strip when incendiary balloons carrying explosive devices were launched into southern Israel last week.

In response, the Israeli air force struck Hamas facilities in the enclave.

On Sunday, the Israeli military fired a shell at a Hamas observation post along the Gaza border after an explosives-laden balloon had earlier detonated over Sderot in southern Israel, causing no injuries or damage.

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