Palestinian Authority Discovers Hamas Arms Cache

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RAMALLAH - Palestinian Authority security forces uncovered a large Hamas weapons cache in a residential neighborhood in Ramallah, the London-based, Arabic-language daily al-Quds al Arabi reported.

"Among other things, security forces confiscated mortar shells, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons," PA security forces spokesman Adnan Damiri said.

Hamas planned to use the weapons to target Palestinian Authority officials, Damiri said, and more details would be released after the investigation was completed.

"The goal of the arms [cache] was to target senior [Palestinian] Authority officials or the policy obligations of the Authority. Hamas weapons dealing and money laundering are the most dangerous issues facing the Palestinian Authority," he said.

According to the Palestine Press Agency, the discovery prompted PA officials to cancel a reconciliation meeting with Hamas in Damascus this week. But the PA denied the report, saying they were seeking a different venue for the meeting following a dispute with Syria.

Meanwhile, Hamas denied plans to target PA officials and said the weapons were meant only to be used against Israel.

"Hamas has never once considered targeting senior [Palestinian] Authority officials in the West Bank," a senior Hamas operative said in an interview posted on Filastin al-An, a Palestinian website.

"Any weapon found in the hands of the opposition [Hamas] would be used only to fight against the occupation [Israel]," he said.

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