Hamas Plotters Employees of British Consulate

Wednesday, 05 Jan 2011 08:30 AM

By Steve Emerson

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Two of the five Palestinian Hamas operatives planning an attack on Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium were employees of the British consulate general office in East Jerusalem, according to Reuters.

Britain's foreign office noted that it was "aware of reports" about the charges, but stated that their arrests had "no connection to their work at the consulate."

"We are aware of reports that they may be charged with the illegal sale of weapons. We are urgently seeking confirmation of the charges," a spokesman said. "We have been told by the Israeli authorities that the investigation into our two employees is unrelated to the work they do at the consulate."

The two men, Mohammed Hamada and Bilal Bakhatan, were employed as maintenance men and had been vetted in joint background checks by the British and Israeli governments, according to The Telegraph newspaper.

Initial statements by Israel's security service, the Shin Bet, noted that the two men helped primary suspects Mussa Hamada and Bassem Omari acquire pistols for the planned terror attack.

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