Israeli intel: Hamas, Palestinian Authority plotting to destabilize Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM — Israel has determined that Hamas was organizing squads
for attacks in Jerusalem.

Officials said the Israeli intelligence community has been tracking
Hamas efforts to destabilize Jerusalem in a campaign coordinated with the
Palestinian Authority.

Israeli riot police take positions at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during scuffles with Palestinian stone throwers on Oct. 5, 2012. /AFP/Ahmad Gharabli

The officials said Hamas was organizing Palestinians to attack
Israeli police and civilians in eastern and northern Jerusalem.

“The strategy is for Hamas to take the lead and the PA to provide
diplomatic and political support,” an official said.

On Dec. 18, the Israel Security Agency reported the capture of a Hamas
cell ordered to attack the police and military in northern Jerusalem. Three alleged members of the cell were charged with hurling firebombs and stones at Border Police patrols around the Palestinian refugee camp of Shuafat.

The indictment said the cell also operated in other neighborhoods in
northern Jerusalem near the West Bank city of Ramallah, the seat of the PA. The defendants were said to have organized daily attacks on Israeli motorists and security forces.

Officials said Hamas and the PA were coordinating a campaign to mobilize
thousands of Palestinians for violent protests around Jerusalem. They said
the campaign reflected new cooperation between the PA and the Islamist
opposition to destabilize Israel’s capital.

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