BEIRUT

Middle East

Israel says West Bank coup attempt thwarted

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas recites a prayer in memory of those killed during the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip to quell rocket fire by Hamas militants, prior to a meeting with members of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on August 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel’s Shin Bet security service said Monday it had thwarted a Hamas coup attempt in the West Bank aimed at toppling Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, though it offered few details.

Shin Ben said the plot was orchestrated by senior Hamas official Salah Arouri, who is based in Turkey and enjoys the support of the local officials there. The idea was to set up cells in major West Bank cities. Hamas had no immediate comment to the claim.

In recent months, Shin Bet said it had arrested more than 90 Hamas operatives, confiscated dozens of weapons that had been smuggled into the West Bank and more than $170,000 aimed at funding attacks. It produced photos of the confiscated weapons and cash and a flowchart of the Hamas operatives who had been questioned.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 19, 2014, on page 9.

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