Ali Waked
July 2, 2009 - 12:00am,7340,L-3740121,00.html

The Palestinian Authority has intelligence indicating Hamas is planning to attack its officials, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday. Abbas' statement follows the announcement made earlier this week by the PA, in which it confirmed that members of a Hamas cell were arrested, and later confessed to plotting to carry out attacks against Palestinian Authority officials and institutions before July 7th – the date Fatah and Hamas are expected to sign a reconciliation agreement.

In an interview with Russian television, Abbas said: "The Palestinian Authority is closely monitoring the situation, and when the time is right we will expose those involved in this affair. For now we must wait. We have verified information that Hamas is hoarding weapons and explosives. The Authority has found two tons of explosives belonging to Hamas."

The Palestinian president said that Hamas was also amassing light, medium and heavy arms, machine guns, RPG launchers, and presidential guard uniforms. "We are monitoring the situation, we know there is a cell seeking to carry out assassinations of senior PA officials."

Abbas stressed that the PA was not carrying out politically-motivated arrests of Hamas men, but just detaining those seeking to harm its security. He implied he was pessimistic that the reconciliation talks with Hamas would succeed.

As for the peace process with Israel, Abbas said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must honor the commitments made by previous governments. According to Abbas, the conditions Netanyahu laid out in his Bar Ilan University speech for the creation of a Palestinian state would hollow the essence of that state.

Abbas also said he was awaiting a date for the planned peace summit in Moscow. "We are not interested in new venues, we only want the Israeli side to commit to what the international community is committed to," he said.


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