AMMAN, Asharq Al-Awsat- Jordan said on Tuesday that a group of Hamas militants arrested last week were close to staging attacks inside the kingdom on orders from the Palestinian group’s Syrian-based leadership.
“Security interrogations with the detained suspects had proven they received instructions to execute operations from leaders of Hamas and specifically one of the military officials of Hamas currently based in Syria,” government spokesperson Nasser Joudeh told Reuters.
“They (the attacks) had reached a stage of implementation targeting installations and people in Jordan ,” he added.
held, said one of the detainees had led security officials to a secret location in northern Jordan near the Syrian border where large quantities of weapons had been found.
“The pursuit is still going on and the investigations into this are being conducted,” Joudeh added without elaborating.
TNT explosives, rocket launchers and detonators were found in the safe house used by the Hamas activists, Joudeh added.
However, Hamas still dispute Jordan’s accusations. Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’ politburo, told Asharq al Awsat on Tuesday, “If the Jordanian government is uneasy about the presence of a Hamas government and the election of Hamas by the Palestinian people, I believe that the method they are following is not the right way to deal with the Hamas government or the organization and the Palestinian people.”
“Hamas will not violate the security of any country in the world, including Arab countries. Hamas has not exported its battle conflict outside of Palestine.” He described Hamas as a “responsible movement who everybody knows is committed to its policy. This is why attempts at confusion will not succeed.”
Jordan said last week that rocket launchers and highly combustible explosives seized from a secret Hamas arms cache in the kingdom had been smuggled from Syria, where the Palestinian militant groups’ exiled leadership is based.
Damascus on Tuesday rejected accusations that the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas had smuggled weapons into Jordan via Syria .
“Pretending that a Hamas military leader in Syria was behind the operation is completely false. Syria is not aware of any Hamas military leader inside its territory,” said a foreign ministry official.
“All the Hamas officials in Syria are political leaders who accomplish their tasks only through politics and respect the position of the Syrian authorities which do not permit military activities inside their territory.”
A leader of Jordan ‘s largest opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood, denounced Amman ‘s decision. Jamil Abu Bakr accused the kingdom of having caved in to “American and Zionist pressures on Arabs to isolate the Palestinian Hamas-led government”.
“We need to listen to statements by Hamas and to know the names of those involved in this operation”, indicating that the Jordanian government had previously detained suspects in several affairs only to announce they were innocent later.