“Holding any activity or contact with [Israel] under any cover is a crime punishable by law and a betrayal for the people and their sacrifices,” said the Gaza-based terror group in a statement.
By Associated Press
Hamas-run security forces arrested several activists in the Gaza Strip on treason charges after they took part in a web conference with Israelis, officials said Thursday.
The Hamas-run Interior Ministry said the activists are accused of “holding a normalization activity with the Israeli occupation.”
“Holding any activity or contact with the Israeli occupation under any cover is a crime punishable by law and a betrayal for the people and their sacrifices,” it said in a statement.
Hamas is a terror group that seized Gaza from rival Palestinian forces in 2007 in a bloody coup. It does not recognize Israel and has carried out scores of terror attacks against Israelis over the last few decades. Israel, the U.S. and the EU officially designated Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Hamas has nevertheless been holding indirect talks with Israel through Egyptian, Qatari and U.N. mediators for months.
The activists accused of treason held a nearly two-hour meeting on Monday over Zoom, an online conferencing service, discussing issues of common interest, including the coronavirus pandemic.
The meeting was advertised on a Facebook event page and a recording was posted online by Israeli participants, prompting an outpouring of Palestinian incitement against the Gaza activists on social media.
The family of Rami Aman, the main organizer, said he answered a summons from the security service early Thursday and that they have not heard from him since.
Hamas praised the arrests.
“The relationship with the Zionist occupation is only a continuing fight until it is forced out of all Palestinian lands,” spokesman Hazem Qassem said.