Hamas claims to have discovered Israel spy ring
The Hamas administration in Gaza announced Thursday it had uncovered a network of spies and collaborators with Israeli intelligence, DPA reported.
The interior ministry said it had detained several suspects in connection with alleged espionage ring.
Ihab al-Ghussein, Hamas interior ministry spokesman declined to reveal the names of the collaborators, but he said "they include women and many of them were detained, "and we achieved a significant success in this issue."
If found guilty, they face possible execution.
He accused the Israeli intelligence of seeking to recruit a large number of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank to become collaborators. "The number of collaborators is not huge, but they are dangerous," he added.
Hamas had seized control of the Gaza Strip by force in June 2007 and routed Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' security forces. Hamas has accused Abbas and his Palestinian Authority security forces of collaboration with Israel.
"The collaborators had a clear role during the last Israeli war on Gaza. They were providing the Israeli army with information about the militants and their homes, which were targeted during the war," claimed al-Ghussein.
In December 2008 Israel carried out a three-week large-scale military offensive on the Gaza Strip to prevent militants from firing rockets from the enclave at Israel. Some 1,400 Palestinians and 11 Israelis were killed.