Hamas shows "confessions" by Fatah members plotting to kill Haniya

Other News Materials 16 February 2008 15:59 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Hamas on Saturday showed what it said were confessions by members of rival Fatah movement to a failed plan to assassinate Hamas leader Ismail Haniya using suicide bombings.

"These confessions firmly prove that political and security persons support conspiracies from Ramallah and from outside Palestine," the Islamic movement's former interior minister Said Siam said during a news conference at his house in Gaza.

"Fatah has a black history against Hamas movement," Siam said before playing the alleged recorded confessions of 10 Fatah members before local and Arab media.

Haniya heads Hamas' political wing and has continued to call himself prime minister in Gaza despite his dismissal by President Mahmoud Abbas following the June takeover of the Gaza Strip by the radical Islamic movement.

According to the confessions, the cell had received orders from Tayeb Abdel Rahim, the secretary general of the Palestinian presidency in Ramallah, and other Fatah leaders who fled the Palestinian territories in June when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip.

A suicide bomber was supposed to blow himself up in a mosque near Haniya's house in the Beach refugee camp while two more suicide bombers would attack mosques near the houses of Siam and another Hamas hardliner, Nezzar Rayyan.

In January, the suicide bomber who was supposed to target Haniya failed to go to the mosque and, instead, went to a celebration that Hamas was holding in a Gaza stadium were he was caught, according to the confessions.

Following the seizure of the suspect, Hamas published photos of 10 suspects and later arrested most of them.