In the first direct accusation since the three Israeli settlers went missing a week ago, an Israeli security source, accused Hamas leader, Salah al-‘Arouri, of being the mastermind, and financier, of the believed kidnapping.The Israeli Walla News has reported that “Hamas, especially al’-Arouri, is responsible for the abduction of the settlers”, adding that “al-‘Arouri, along with the Hamas leadership in exile, are behind all attempts to abduct Israeli in the West Bank, in recent years.”

Al-‘Arouri, from ‘Aroura town, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, currently resides in Turkey, and Israel alleges he is the moving force that encourages Hamas fighters in the West Bank, to form new cells and abduct Israelis, the Arabs48 news website has reported.

The unnamed Israeli security source, quoted by Walla News, reportedly said al-‘Arouri is in charge of preparing and financing the cells, but added that Israel has no concrete proof that could implicate the Hamas leader, and directly connect him to the case of the missing Israelis.

The source added that Israel is not facing an official army that follows direct orders, but a series of cells, operating in the occupied territories.

He also alleged that dozens of envoys, sent by al-‘Arouri, visited the West Bank through Jordan, and that some of them have been kidnapped by Israel, while others managed to enter the West Bank and leave it without being detected.

The official alleges that those envoys moved money, instructions and orders to Hamas cells, “ordering them to kidnap Israelis”.

He said the chances that the Hamas leadership in Gaza, or Palestinian detainees released under the Shalit prisoner swap deal, are involved in the abduction are marginal, adding that they allegedly “tried to carry out such attacks, but their chances of success are very low”.

Israel believes al-’Arouri financed cells by transferring money through charities operating in the West Bank, and that the Hamas movement has four groups capable of planning, and abducting Israelis.

He explained the groups are; the Hamas leadership in exile through al-’Arouri “who receives orders from the Hamas Political Bureau head Khaled Masha, the second is Hamas leadership in Gaza, the third of Hamas operatives who are constantly targeted by Israel, and Hamas detainees in Israeli prisons, who have very limited resources.

On Friday at dawn, soldiers invaded ‘Aroura, and demolished the home al-’Arouri.


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