Further cementing the increasingly prevalent impression that the Palestinian Authority is much more responsible than are the Hamas militants in control of Gaza, the terrorist group was implicated on Monday in a plan to mount attacks on Israeli civilians and to orchestrate a coup in the West Bank with the aim of toppling Mahmoud Abbas’s government.
The plot, planned by a Hamas wing headquartered in Turkey, centered on executing a series of mass casualty terror attacks in Israel and destabilizing the West Bank which would facilitate a military coup, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.
The Hamas infrastructure relied on support from cells in neighboring Jordan, and on couriers who delivered terrorist finances, totaling at least two million shekels, which were used to purchase weapons and homes that were used as hideouts, according to the investigation.
Ninety three Hamas members are in Israeli custody, and the Shin Bet has questioned 46 so far. Security forces plan to indict some 70 suspects. The investigation began in May, and is ongoing, security sources said.
The Jewish Press published more details on the scale of the planned terror attacks and the threat to pro-Abbas forces in the West Bank:
A Hamas leader in Turkey directed the terrorist cells, which received approximately $600,000 from sources in Jordan to buy homes to hide terrorists and to purchase weapons.
Hamas set up in 46 cities and villages in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem to incite a resurgence of the intifada with terrorist attacks whose targets included the Temple Mount.
Police, soldiers and security personnel uncovered more than $175,000 during the arrests and found 24 rifles, six revolvers, seven rocket launchers and huge amounts of rifle cartridges and bullets.
This incident underscores the increasingly apparent reality that the Palestinian territories are now two entirely distinct political entities. The exposure of this plot also highlights why Hamas in Gaza has lost the support of nearly every Arab government.
The number of ceasefires which Hamas rejected over the course of the month-long conflict with Israel and the brutality of the terror group’s effort to bring about civilian casualties has sapped Hamas of its legitimacy. With the exception of the media and political left in the West, few have credited the terrorist authority in Gaza with behaving like a responsible governmental entity during this crisis.
Now, with a Hamas plan to topple a moderate Palestinian government uncovered, Israel has the moral authority to contend that Hamas – not the Palestinian people – are the source of tension in the region; a narrative which will undermine the insistence from some in the West that Israel is solely responsible for fostering tensions in the region.
That is, if any on the left in Europe and the United States care to acknowledge this narrative-crippling development.
This post has been updated since its original publication.