Hamas is accusing Western as well as Arab spy agencies of running clandestine operations in the Gaza Strip, and even announced it had a list of collaborators, AFP reported.
“The Gaza Strip is swarming with Western intelligence agencies, such as the American, British, French and German services,” Mohammed Lafi, the Hamas internal security chief, stated on the interior ministry website.
“They all target Gaza and Hamas,” he said, including unspecified Arab intelligence services.
But Hamas is clashing with the UN as well. On Thursday, dozens of Gazans broke into the offices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), because they were angry at it for stopping a monthly cash stipend for poor families. Israel Radio reported the stipends were suspended because of budget cuts.
The agency staff decided to react to the attack by going on strike, and UNRWA announced the suspension of food distribution.
“What happened today was completely unacceptable,” Robert Turner, the head of the agency’s Gaza operations, said on Thursday. “The situation could very easily have resulted in serious injuries to UNRWA staff and to the demonstrators. This escalation, apparently pre-planned, was unwarranted and unprecedented.”
Hams’s response was to condemn UNRWA for stopping food distribution, ignoring the fact that rioters had stormed the organization’s offices and the fact that the staff received no protection from the authorities.
Hamas spokesperson Sammi abu-Zuhari said UNRWA’s decision to suspend food distribution was “overblown and unjust,” and that “Palestinian refugees have a right to stage non-violent protests.”
Naturally, if, according to Haaretz’s Amira Hass, throwing Molotov cocktails at motorists is a form of national resistance, breaking and entering can be filed under non-violent protest.
As to the spies that seem to be converging on Gaza from all over the planet, security chief Lafi said his agency had “a list of collaborators who will be arrested once the time for them to repent has run out.”
A notably spiritual approach to espionage.
Lafi said some spies have already been arrested and “half of them have confessed to being collaborators.” He also warned Palestinian journalists not to feed information to foreign correspondents and institutions.