Hamas slam PA for helping Israel locate rabbi's killer
Hamas criticized the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Wednesday for allegedly providing Israel with the lead that assisted their efforts in locating the assailant suspected of murdering Rabbi Raziel Shevach last month, the Times of Israel reported.
Ahmed Jarrar, was killed in a joint operation by Israeli security forces on Tuesday as he came out of hiding from a building in Yamoun near the West Bank city of Jenin, armed with an M-16 and a pack of explosives.
He was said to be a member of Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and the principal operative in the terrorist cell that perpetrated Raziel’s murder, alongside apparent involvement in other attempted attacks.
According to a video posted on the Al Qassam website following Shevach’s drive-by murder on January 9, cited by the Times of Israel, Hamas reportedly claimed that the PA began collaborating with Israel to identify the assailant and “provided the lead to the enemy.”
The month-long search for Jarrar was met with various obstacles, including mistaken initial claims that Israeli forces killed him ten days after the rabbi's murder, as well as the death of 19-year-old Palestinian Ahmad Abu Obeid amid clashes that broke out with security forces over the weekend near Jenin as they surrounded homes in the village of Burqin.
The Hamas video expressed how Jarrar had successfully managed to evade capture from Israel’s Defense Force (IDF) at least twice, including once during the January 17 IDF raid.
A senior PA official has since denied the accusations made by Hamas as “fabrications” and “lies.” However, the Ramallah-based group has received continuous criticism from sections of Palestinian society for its security coordination with Israel, it has been referred to by Hamas as a “crime.”
Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine have also joined calls for the PA to end its cooperation with Israel following Jarrar’s killing.
Hamas's armed wing celebrated Jarrar as a martyr, though it was unclear if it was claiming direct responsibility for the attack. "Our heroes in the occupied West Bank wrote a heroic epic that made the Zionists lose sleep and put their security establishment on alert," they said in a statement.
The 35-year-old father of six Shevach, was gunned down whilst driving on Route 60 that crosses the West Bank from North to South near the outpost of Havat Gilad.
As Fatah-Hamas relations are strained, the landmark reconciliation deal aimed at ending the decade-long split between the two groups remains further gridlocked.
(Staff with Agencies)
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