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Monday, October 11, 2004

Hamas considers major attack outside Israel

NICOSIA [MENL] -- Hamas has been discussing with Iran the launch of a major attack against an Israeli or Jewish installation outside of the Middle East.

Western intelligence sources said Hamas has sought Iran's help in financing and planning a major strike on an Israeli embassy or Jewish facility that would deter Israel from attacking the leadership of the Islamic insurgency group. The sources said Hamas has urged Teheran to provide the same support granted for the mass casualty strikes against Israeli and Jewish targets in Buenos Aires in the early 1990s in which 114 people were killed.

'Hamas does not have the depth for any major attack on an Israeli installation outside of the Middle East,' an intelligence source said. 'For this, it needs an ally such as Iran, with experience in and capabilities for such attacks.'

In September, Israel's intelligence community was on alert for a mass casualty attack on Israeli tourists in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Egypt has suspected Hamas or Palestinian involvement in the Oct. 7 bombings of tourist sites frequented by Israelis in the Sinai, in which 34 people were killed, 12 of them Israelis.