Ma'an News Agency
November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority forces arrested Hamas members who were plotting to kill the governor of the West Bank city of Nablus, Jibrin Al-Bakri, PA officials claimed Wednesday.

The officials, who declined to be identified, said the group that hatched the alleged plot was based in Nablus with a network extending throughout the northern West Bank. PA forces raided the group's headquarters, seizing weapons and cash, they said.

The group were said to be members of Hamas' armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, who were in direct contact with the Hamas-run government in Gaza.

Hamas officials in Gaza were unavailable for comment.

In addition to the alleged assassination plot, the group also planned to kidnap Israeli settlers, and launch suicide attacks on Israeli targets in Jerusalem, in an effort to destabilize the situation in the West Bank, the officials said.

PA forces also discovered in the group's possession a booby-trapped car which they said was to be used in a suicide bombing.

Over the past three years, operations by the Israeli army and the PA have all but eliminated armed paramilitary groups in the West Bank, especially those affiliated with Hamas.

The Fatah-dominated PA launched a major clampdown on Hamas' political and military wings after the Islamist group took full control of Gaza in June 2007.

In a speech in Gaza on the occasion of the Eid Al-Adha holiday on Tuesday, Hamas-affiliated Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said his movement was still open to reconciliation with Fatah.

On Monday the Israeli military announced it raided the home of an alleged member of Hamas' finance network in the West Bank city of Tulkarem, seizing cash, cars, computers, jewelry, and other valuables.


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