Hamas says it has captured key spies for Israel

The Hamas-run government in Gaza said it had arrested spies for Israel who had infiltrated armed groups and helped kill top militants.

Last Updated: Sep 23, 2010, 20:17 PM IST

Gaza City: The Hamas-run government in
Gaza said on Thursday it had arrested spies for Israel who had
infiltrated armed groups and helped kill top militants.

The revelations capped a months-long public campaign
warning residents of the coastal enclave against collaborating
with Israel and followed the arrest of some well-known local
figures in recent weeks.

"The relevant bodies have succeeded in acquiring
dangerous confessions and revealing a number of agents who
were behind the assassination of leaders of the resistance,"
interior ministry spokesman Ihab al-Ghussein told reporters.

"We have arrested some agents who were able to
infiltrate some of the resistance groups by joining their
ranks and attempting to gain the confidence of leaders," he
added at a Gaza news conference.

Ghussein then listed several incidents going as far
back as 2006 in which spies allegedly helped pinpoint leaders
ahead of their assassination by Israeli forces and set off
bombs in militant compounds.

In many of the alleged incidents the information
provided was incorrect, leading to the killing of civilians,
the interior ministry spokesman said.

However, he declined to say how many alleged agents
had been arrested and provided just one name -- that of a
supporter of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas`s Fatah
movement who fled to the West Bank town of Ramallah.

Ghussein also showed a video of two men, their faces
pixelated, confessing to having spied for Israel and
describing how they were recruited.

Another interior ministry official, Mohammed Lafi,
showed different gadgets he said had been found on the alleged
agents, including a camera concealed in a tissue box and a car
battery with a phone inside.

"The security services have a strict policy of not
speaking about numbers or names or specific situations, but I
think it`s very clear that we have achieved something," he
said.

The news conference did little to address rumours that
have gripped Gaza in recent weeks over who has been accused of
spying and what might happen to them.

During its months-long campaign, Hamas demanded that
spies turn themselves in and threatened those who failed to
heed the order.

PTI