Hamas: ‘Big secrets’ uncovered in Gaza
Terrorist group says it found technical devices from botched IDF November raid
Hamas’s Izaddin al-Qassam military wing claimed on Saturday that its members have seized technical devices and equipment “containing big secrets” during the botched IDF operation in the southern Gaza Strip on November 11. Hamas is referring to the clash with the IDF unit as Sword’s Edge Operation and boasts that its members were able to uncover the Israeli commandos while they were operating inside the Gaza Strip.
An IDF lieutenant-colonel was killed and another officer was moderately wounded after a firefight erupted with Hamas terrorists during a Special Forces operation east of Khan Yunis. The IDF explained that the purpose of the operation was not to kill or capture terrorists. The troops, it said, were exposed while they “carried out a lengthy operation.”
“The enemy and its security forces should be very worried,” said Abu Obaida, spokesman for the Qassam Brigades, during a press conference in the Gaza Strip. “The treasure of information we gained will give us a strategic advantage on the level of the battle of wits with the Zionist enemy.”
He offered a one million dollar reward and a pardon to any Palestinian “collaborator” with Israel who assists in the capture of IDF soldiers and officers.
The IDF elite unit that infiltrated the Gaza Strip was on a mission to plant espionage devices to spy on his group’s telecommunication network, Abu Obaida claimed.
The IDF commandos, he said, infiltrated the Gaza Strip through a “rugged area” and under heavy fog. “The unit was equipped with advanced and emergency equipment,” he added.
Abu Obaida also claimed that IDF Special Forces used fake ID cards with the names of real people living in the Gaza Strip. “They used two vehicles with forged documents,” he said. “They also forged documents of a charitable organization, which the [Israeli] force used as a cover for its operation.”
He also claimed that a member of the IDF unit had previously entered and exited the Gaza Strip under the cover of an international organization operating there.
According to the spokesman, the unit also used forged documents to rent a tourist shack in Khan Yunis and used it as a meeting point for its members.
Abu Obaida said a Qassam patrol intercepted the IDF commandos as they were on their way to carry out their mission and gave chase to the van that was carrying the elite unit’s commander.
After questioning the passengers of the van, he added, the Qassam members became suspicious and decided to detain them. “As the Qassam patrol began detaining them, the [IDF] unit members opened fire, killing Nur Baraka, the [Qassam] field commander, and Mohammed al-Qarra, a Qassam fighter,” he said. “The Qassam fighters responded with gunfire, killing the commander of the unit and wounding one of its members.”
Abu Obaida said that the IDF unit commandos managed to snatch both men and
fled the scene, under the cover of Israel Air Force bombardments, before the arrival of Qassam reinforcements.
A helicopter that was dispatched to the area managed to rescue all the members of the IDF unit, he claimed. Five Qassam members were killed during the pursuit and exchange of gunfire, he said.
The spokesman said that his group managed, after a thorough investigation, to uncover the identities of the members of the IDF commandos, the nature of their missions and the unit they belonged to. The IDF unit, he claimed, had also carried out several operations in Arab and Muslim countries. He did not provide further details.
Abu Obaida said that the details that were published on Saturday were only part of the information gained by the Qassam Brigade during and after the operation. He pledged that his group will continue to respond to Israeli “aggression” and “amputate its organs that target our people and land.”
The brigade, he said, has decided to give Palestinian “collaborators” and “traitors” a chance to repent. Any “collaborator” who assists in the capture of Israeli soldiers and officers, he added, will be granted a pardon and rewarded one million dollars.
While the IDF has not commented in depth regarding the commando raid, the military explained that the purpose of the Special Forces operation was not to kill or kidnap, and that the troops were exposed while they “carried out a lengthy operation.”
Following the Khan Yunis shootout, Hamas published photos of eight people and two vehicles it said had taken part in the IDF operation, leading Israel’s military censor to put out a serious warning regarding any publication by Hamas on the raid.
“Hamas is currently trying to decipher and understand the incident that took place deep inside Gaza (11/11) and any information item, even if it is considered harmless by its publications, is liable to endanger human lives and harm state security,” read the statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit in late November.
Warning the public to “act responsibly” – regardless of the credibility of the details published by Hamas – the military urged that the images, as well as any personal information that may have been shared on social media and WhatsApp groups or any other media platform, not be re-shared.
The military censorship put out a similar warning on Saturday night regarding the press conference given by Hamas. •
PALESTINIANS INSPECT the remains of a vehicle destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Khan Yunis on November 12.