The broadcast on Thursday also showed a weapons stockpile including hand grenades and Iranian-made Katushya rockets seized in raids last month.

 

Jordan had said on Wednesday that it had arrested 20 Hamas members after it discovered the weapons.

 

The apparent leader of the group, named as Ayman Naji Daraghmeh, spoke of his links to Hamas, his training trips to Syria - where the group's leadership is based - and also of spying on a Jordanian intelligence officer who was to be killed.

 

A second suspect said Daraghmeh had told him of plans to attack a bus carrying members of the Jordanian intelligence services.

 

Daraghmeh said he was trained
in Syria

A third said said he was involved in a plot to kill a Jordanian Christian and had gone to Jordan's Red Sea port of Aqaba to survey areas visited by Western tourists.

 

Nasser Jawdeh, a government spokesman, said on Wednesday that the arrests and seized weapons showed "attempts to recruit individuals in Jordan on behalf of [Hamas] to bring recruits from the Palestinian territories to send them to Syria and Iran for training".

 

Hamas 'displeased'

 

However, Hamas said the confessions were false. Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman, said in an interview broadcast by Aljazeera: "These are all security fabrications which are easy to implement. This is why we reject not only the accusations but such baseless lies that the security apparatus could easily engineer.

 

"How can we target a bus loaded with Jordanian citizens, as noted by the TV, while we did not target a single Israeli outside Palestinian territories. We should rather target a Jew or an Israeli instead of targeting our brothers from the Arab and Islamic nations. This is a lie that could never deceive

anybody."

 

"We should rather target a Jew or an Israeli instead of targeting our brothers from the Arab and Islamic nations"

Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman

Jordan said last month that it had found weapons and explosives smuggled into the country from Syria by Hamas members.

 

Hamas denied the allegations and a visit by Mahmoud al-Zahar, the new Palestinian foreign minister and senior Hamas leader, was scrapped.

 

On Wednesday, Jordanian authorities briefed five Palestinian security officials, led by Major-General Tareq Abu Rajab, chief of Palestinian General Intelligence, of the evidence against the Hamas members.

The team was sent by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, not the Hamas government.