Hamas Sources: IDF Arrested Senior Hamas Official in Tulkarm
Palestinian sources reported Monday that the IDF re-arrested Rafat Nasif, a senior Hamas operative in Tulkarm, an additional blow to the organization’s military wing still regrouping from Friday night’s assassination of Mazen Fuqaha.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied involvement in the Fuqaha killing. Nasif was released only a month and a half ago from Israeli prison.
Nasif was likely one of 14 people arrested by the IDF and Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) during overnight operation in Judea and Samaria. Nine detainees are suspected of involvement in grassroots terrorism and rioting against security forces and civilians, and five more are suspected of being Hamas activists. Arrests included one in Bethlehem, three in Rantis and one in Tulkarm (presumably Nasif).
The Hamas leadership are convinced Israel was involved in providing “aid” to Fuqaha’s killers. They say the killing represents a “turning point” in the cold war between Israel and Hamas, and have pledged that while the organization has decided not to respond by firing rockets, they will also not let the entire matter go.
The Erez crossing was opened against for business people between Gaza and Israel after Hamas decided to close it down, save for humanitarian aid, following Fuqaha’s death.
Also overnight, the IDF and Shin Bet seized thousands of shekels in cash in Bethlehem, which intelligence sources said originated from terror organizations. All detainees and the money were transferred to relevant security sources.