GAZA, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian governing Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has been blamed for being responsible for murdering a senior intelligence officer in Gaza City last Friday, pan-Arab daily al-Hayat reported on Tuesday.
The London-based newspaper quoted unidentified Palestinian officials as saying that President Mahmoud Abbas has set a deadline for Hamas to hand over the militants who killed Colonel Jad Tayeh, director of foreign relations in the Palestinian intelligence service.
Abbas burst in anger when he was told that those who killed Tayeh and four aides were members of Hamas and asked Prime Minister Ismail Haneya of Hamas to hand over the suspects before Saturday, said the official sources.
The sources also disclosed that the murder case was a key reason for suspending the Abbas-Hamas talks over a coalition government.
According to the newspaper, Tayeh was killed for his role in what now is called the issue of Hamas weapons that were seized in Jordan in April.
At that time, the Jordanian authorities announced they confiscated a weapon shipment that was on its way to Hamas and accused the governing movement of plotting to target vital installments in Amman.
This issue has led to a complete break off of relations between Jordan and the Hamas-led government and Jordan canceled a scheduled visit by Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar (Hamas), said the report.
But in Gaza, Hamas has rejected the report and refused the accusations that the movement had a role in killing Tayeh and his aids.
A local Hamas leader Osama Muzini told reporters that the bidsto implicate Hamas' name in the issue meant to harming the national interest.
He confirmed an inquiry on the murder was still underway, calling for the interior minister to reveal names of any suspects. On the streets, families of Tayeh and his four aides rallied inprotest, demanding the Hamas-led government to carry out its responsibilities and hand over its members accused of assassinating their relatives. Enditem