Israeli sources: The PA helped us to detain Bitar and his fellow strikers

[ 10/01/2011 – 08:45 AM ]


OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli military sources revealed that the kidnapping of senior Hamas leader Wael Al-Bitar and his four fellow hunger strikers took place after the Israeli side received intelligence information from the Palestinian Authority’s security apparatuses.

The PA intelligence apparatus had released last week the five hunger strikers after human rights organizations, and Palestinian and Arab parties pressured for their release, but the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped them on the night of the same day.

The sources added that Bitar confessed to working as an assistant to martyr Shihab Annatsheh who masterminded a commando operation in Dimona in February 2008.

Observers believe that the confessions made by Bitar under torture in PA jails were reported to the IOF in the context of the security cooperation between the two sides.

In this regard, an informed security source in Ramallah city told the Palestinian information center (PIC) about the circumstances of the Israeli military operation that led to the detention of the five hunger strikers in Al-Khalil city after their release from PA jails.

The source, on condition of anonymity, revealed the role played by the PA intelligence director Majed Faraj through his meeting and contact with Israeli officers in order to coordinate the operation without arousing any suspicion about the PA security apparatuses.

He added that after the considerable pressures placed on de facto president Mahmoud Abbas by different parties, especially the Islamic Movement headed by Sheikh Ra’ed Salah and the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin-Khalifa he was prompted to order his intelligence director Faraj to release the hunger strikers, but the latter told him that their release was not easy and would violate the security protocol signed with the Israeli side.

After that, the source went on saying, Faraj started to make contacts and hold meetings with Israeli security officers to put them in the picture of the pressures placed on Abbas and his authority, but the Israelis at first refused and told the intelligence director that Israel could not remain silent and watch the hunger strikers walking in the West Bank free.

The meetings between Faraj and Israeli officers concluded with the agreement of both sides on letting Israel detain the hunger strikers after their release from PA jails in order to lift the burden on the authority of Abbas.

In a separate incident, Hamas lawmakers in Salfit city denounced the PA preventive security apparatus for holding a military trial against political prisoner Mohamed Suleiman and giving him an imprisonment sentence of one and a half year.

The MPs in a press release on Sunday added that the same PA military court also sentenced in last April a brother of Suleiman’s to one year in prison.

They emphasized that the persistence of the PA in holding military trials against the Palestinians in the West Bank would lead to more tension in the Palestinian arena and kill any prospect for a national reconciliation.

Israeli sources: The PA helped us to detain Bitar and his fellow strikers.

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