Photo Credit: Majdi Fathi/TPS
Mourners carry the body of terrorist Bahaa Abu el-Atta, the northern Gaza Strip Islamic Jihad commander, at his funeral in Gaza. Nov 12, 2019.

Hamas collected and transferred the intelligence on senior Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu al-Atta which the IDF used to target and eliminate him, a senior Palestinian Authority (PA) security official told TPS.

“The Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip has concrete and proven information that Hamas is responsible for the assassination of Abu Al-Atta and that it has passed its information on to certain elements” which was then obtained by Israel, the senior PA security official told TPS.

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Abu al-Atta, who was killed in a precision IDF attack in November, was responsible for many terrorist attacks and the firing of rockets on Israel in recent months and had intended to carry out imminent attacks, including incursions into Israel.

The senior PA security official said that Hamas’ claims that the PA’s intelligence was responsible for the assassination and that it operated a surveillance squad under the command of Colonel Majid Faraj are “nothing but a smokescreen.”

“Misleading attempts will not help Hamas and will not hide the information that Jihad has,” he said.

The source did not specify to whom Hamas relayed the information, but added that the Islamic Jihad headquarters in the Gaza Strip is convinced of the veracity of the information and that the PA has no connection to the assassination.

Abu al-Atta embarrassed Hamas in the months prior to his elimination when he ordered rockets attacks on Israel and became an independent operator and challenged its rule over Gaza, actions which thwarted Hamas’ covert talks with Israel for long term ceasefire.

Abu al-Atta was also invited to Egypt weeks before his assassination and received an incentive in the form of the release of 81 Islamic Jihad operatives who were detained in Egypt in exchange for his cooperation, but he did no cease his fire on Israel.

Hamas has blamed the PA intelligence of collaborating with Israel in the November assassination of Abu al-Atta, but a Fatah activist told TPS that “the street is not buying Hamas’ accusations that come to cover its agreement with Israel” on a long-term ceasefire, that was guaranteed by Hamas “with no real gains and at a very heavy price in lives.”

Fatah leader Azzam al-Ahmad said in an interview that the expanding cooperation between Israel and Hamas deepens the split in Palestinian rule and aims to serve Israel in its plans to expropriate land in Judea and Samaria.

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Baruch reports on Arab affairs for TPS.