Ramallah: The Palestinian security services in the West Bank have arrested three students accused of plotting to build a “drone” with which to attack Israel, a source said on Friday.

The three Hebron University engineering students had intended to build a pilotless aircraft equipped with explosives, according to the Palestinian security source.

But before they could carry out the attack, they were arrested by the security services of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), which governs the West Bank, the source said without giving any more details.

Hamas, the Islamist movement which rules the Gaza Strip, issued a statement denouncing “this new proof of security cooperation between the occupation [Israel] and the services of the Palestinian [National] Authority.”

It also criticised the PNA for “hindering all the efforts of the resistance and protecting the security of the occupation”.

The movement did not say, however, if it had been involved in the alleged plot.

On April 25, Israel shot down a drone from Lebanon off its northern coast in the second such incident in seven months, which it blamed on the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah.