Mohamed Al-Du'ma, Kifah Zaboun
Asharq Alawsat
February 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority police spokesman General Adnan al-Dameeri played down Hamas's accusations that the two Palestinians who have been arrested in Dubai on suspicion of participating in the assassination of senior Hamas member Mahmoud al-Mabhouh were working for the Palestinian Authority security forces.

Al-Dameeri told Asharq Al-Awsat that "we have complete information about their identities, and I say to you, they work for the security apparatus of Hamas, and one of them who holds the rank of major traveled to work in Sharjah [in the UAE], as for how he obtained this rank and why he traveled to Sharjah, it is up to Hamas to answer." General al-Dameeri also said that he "challenges them [Hamas] to declare their names" and he called on the Hamas leadership to "draw lessons from this incident."

General al-Dameeri also said "I ask them [Hamas] to reconsider and open investigations into all previous assassinations, and inform us how Hamas Interior Minister Said Seyam was assassinated, as well as [former] Hamas leader Abdul Aziz al-Rantissi, and senior Hamas member Ismail Abu Shanab, and many others." He added "in all cases of the assassination of Hamas leaders, did Hamas conduct investigations [into these]? Where are the results?"

Al-Dameeri described Hamas's accusations as being "baseless" and told Asharq Al-Awsat "they have been infiltrated, and any security apparatus in the world can be breached, but they need to have the courage to admit this."

Al-Dameeri also expressed great confidence in the ability of the Dubai Police Force to reach conclusive results, and said "we have information that is painful to Hamas, and we do not want to open doors that will hurt them, and it is up to them to tell us what they know about who knew about al-Mabhouh's travel arrangements, his flight number, what hotel he would be staying in, and his room number."

The Dubai Police Force had announced that the Jordanian authorities had handed over two Palestinians suspected of providing logistical support for the assassination of al-Mabhouh into their custody. Dubai Police Chief General Dahi Khalfan Tamim said that one of these Palestinians was a military official in the Palestinian Authority.

Against this backdrop, the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas movement exchanged accusations on Tuesday night with regards to involvement in the assassination of al-Mabhouh.

Fayek al-Mabhouh, the brother of the victim, said that he was not surprised at the news that two Palestinians had been arrested on suspicion of being involved in his brother's death, and that he had said from the outset that if Israeli was responsible, it could not have been working alone. In an interview with Israeli Army Radio on Tuesday, Fayek al-Mabhouh added that "it is likely that the assassins received a green light from parties in the Palestinian Authority" and he added "we are not surprised at the news of the arrests of Palestinians in Dubai, because we know that some members of the Mohammed Dahlan group [i.e. Fatah in Gaza] who had fled the Gaza Strip were living in Dubai as businessmen and they have business interests there."


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