Tel Aviv, 8 Dhulqo’dah 1435/3 September 2014 (MINA) – Israel’s Haaretz newspaper raised serious doubts on Tuesday about the Israeli security agency’s (Shabak) investigation into Hamas leader Riad Al-Nasser and the supposed coup that Hamas was allegedly planning against the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank.
According to the investigation documents obtained by the newspaper, Al-Nasser’s remarks indicate that Hamas was only preparing itself to replace any vacuum left by the potential collapse of the PA, assuming that the latter’s hold on power would soon come to an end, according to Middle East Monitor reports as quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).
Al-Nasser was investigated at the Shabak headquarters for 51 days, during which time “Dozens of investigators questioned Nasser almost around the clock. The transcripts of those conversations amount to hundreds of pages, far more than the norm.”
According to Haaretz, Al-Nasser spoke in detail about Hamas’s activities in the West Bank, including the names of different activists and the political situation, as well as the movement’s foreign relations, but denied any forbidden military activity.
Following the end of the interrogation of Al-Nasser, and during the height of Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip, Shabak was quick to announce that it had aborted a Hamas network that was planning a coup against the PA.
However, the newspaper’s investigation into the security documents reveals that Shabak greatly exaggerated Hamas’s plans. What Al-Nasser had actually said was that in the event of the PA’s potential fall from power, which was expected to happen soon, Hamas should be prepared to fill in the vacuum “in a stable manner”.
Nasser, aged 38, has been arrested several times in the past by the Israeli authorities, which consider him a leading Hamas figure in the West Bank.(T/R04/P3)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)