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Israel says Hamas West Bank coup attempt thwarted

JERUSALEM (AP) -- 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.

In recent months, the 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.

The 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 and

Hamas had no immediate comment to the claim.

Hamas overtook the Gaza Strip in 2007 from forces loyal to Abbas. It is currently negotiating in Cairo over a cease-fire to formally end the Gaza war.

A five-day cease-fire expires later Monday.

The monthlong Israel-Hamas war has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians, according to Palestinian and U.N. officials. Israel has lost 67 people, all but three of them soldiers.

The fighting was precipitated by Israeli arrests of Hamas members in the West Bank following the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers. The Shin Bet said it uncovered the coup plot due to information gleaned from the arrests.

The three teens - Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel - were slain in June in the West Bank. Their killings were followed by the slaying of a Palestinian youth in what was a likely revenge attack.

The Gaza war began on July 8 with Israeli airstrikes. Nine days later, Israel sent in ground troops to destroy Hamas' underground cross-border tunnels constructed for attacks inside Israel.

Also on Monday, Israeli troops demolished the homes of two militants suspected in the abduction and killing of the three Israeli teenagers and sealed up the home of a third.

The demolition is standard Israeli military procedure in dealing with militants suspected of major crimes. According to the police, there were 250 police officers at the scene, along with dozens of Israeli soldiers. Minor clashes were reported during the demolition, with Palestinian youths hurling rocks and stones at armored Israeli vehicles.

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Darren Blizard August 18 2014 at 1:33 PM

If I remember correctly, the war started not with Israeli airstrikes, but with Hamas lobbing rockets into Israeli population centers....

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4 replies
jme9281 August 18 2014 at 1:29 PM

Why do journalists never mention the thousands of rockets fired into Israel?? Oh.. thats right. That would skew their already skewed story.

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5 replies
dal August 18 2014 at 2:57 PM

NOTE TO EDITOR: Hamas started this shooting match on july 7th Israel retaliated on the 8th.

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4 replies
masters10 August 18 2014 at 1:49 PM

As usual, not one comment about what really started the war: the thousands of rockets fired by Hamas at Israel, and the entrance of terrorists into Israel through those tunnels. So tired of the biased bastards that actually get their material published by their leftist news corporations. Both sides of the story please. I am not so ignorant that I can't discern my own opinion of what happened!

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suitman36 August 18 2014 at 2:53 PM

why are the muslims at war everywhere else described as 'islamist terrorists', but, when it comes to israel, they are simply hamas, or gazans.
aren't these also islamist terrorists?

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1 reply
d.carns suitman36 August 18 2014 at 7:06 PM


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ytanay August 18 2014 at 1:58 PM

Overall fair report, but to say "The Gaza war began on July 8 with Israeli airstrikes" is totally wrong. It started on July 8 after several days of Gazan sending rockets on Israeli civilian, at which point Israel retaliated. Imagine someone raining rockets on NY. When America would inevitably retaliate, it would not be "beginning a war...."

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1 reply
suitman36 ytanay August 18 2014 at 2:48 PM

'several days of gazan sending rockets'.....it was not several days. hamas has been doing the same for years now.

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1 reply
johnlazagm suitman36 August 18 2014 at 4:57 PM

00% accurate!

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esqlevine August 18 2014 at 3:08 PM

This coup was an attempt to open a second front in the war thereby exposing even more Palestinians to violence, destruction and death. This is how the terrorists care for "their" people.

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1 reply
thanadar esqlevine August 18 2014 at 7:19 PM

"Their people" are an expendable source of material, like bullets, artillery rounds and rockets to be used in Hamas' cynical effort to justify their own existence. They don't give a shite about "their people", and everyone knows it.

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frankiegallo33 August 18 2014 at 3:05 PM

Hey Israel,
You're annoying Obama.
Hamas is funded by Iran.
Obama & his advisers from Iran are depending on Hamas to get Obama & Iran their long awaited Muslim Caliphate with Iran seated at the top of the $hit pile.
So stop annoying Obama. "NOT".

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2 replies
sksnyder25 frankiegallo33 August 18 2014 at 4:05 PM

Go take your meds. Your crazy is showing.

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3 replies
bradbsn frankiegallo33 August 18 2014 at 7:20 PM

My, that is the dumbest comment I have read in a long time.

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partsautomall August 18 2014 at 1:45 PM

this story was better than others.not as biased against Israel.this soros media we have has to be called out for what it is.bought and paid for communist jounalists.their parents must be proud

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1 reply
gradster partsautomall August 19 2014 at 12:45 AM

Really, who kidnapped those three innocent boys and had them killed and fired thousand of rockets into Israel before they retaliated. Hamas, you should stop using your people as pawns. Pictures of the people being killed rests on your hands.

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airamrka August 18 2014 at 4:54 PM

When Hamas restarts shooting rockets at Israel, Israel should start at one end of Gaza and when they come out the other end, everything in between needs to be dead.

The dead should include men, women, children of all ages, dogs, cats, sheep, goats (Hamas sex objects) and anything else that needs air to live.

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3 replies
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