Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal instructed the terror group's sleeper cells in the West Bank to prepare themselves for armed struggle to take control of the Palestinian territory, The Sunday Times reported.
According to the report, citing the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Aman military intelligence service, Hamas, at the behest of Iran, was preparing to seize power in the West Bank as it did in Gaza in a 2007 civil war.
The Sunday Times also alleged that relations between Hamas and Iran were on the upswing after a brief cooling off period...as Assad’s position has weakened, Iran has hedged somewhat by re-pivoting towards Hamas in order to protect its interests were Assad to fall.
The Sunday Times said that Iran's motivation was to create a third proxy force in the West Bank - after Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza - through which to retaliate to any potential Israeli attack on Tehran's nuclear program.
The paper concluded by quoting senior Fatah member and former head of Palestinian general intelligence General Tawfik Tirawi as saying that "Hamas wants intifada [uprising]" and "will take over the West Bank.”
“We’re on the verge of catastrophe,” Tawfik Tirawi, a senior Fatah member, told the paper. ”Hamas wants intifada and now only a spark is needed to light the inferno. Hamas will take over the West Bank.”