Group of­fers $1 mil­lion re­ward to iden­tify Is­raeli agents

The National - News - - NEWS -

Ha­mas has of­fered a $1 mil­lion (Dh3.7m) re­ward for in­for­ma­tion about the Is­raeli spe­cial force troops who led a botched mis­sion into the Gaza Strip in Novem­ber.

Ha­mas said the Is­raeli raid on Novem­ber 11 was part of a plan to plant spy­ing de­vices on its com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work. Is­rael has im­posed par­tial cen­sor­ship on its me­dia about the sub­ject.

The un­der­cover sol­diers were seen near the city of Khan You­nis. One Is­raeli of­fi­cer and sev­eral Ha­mas mem­bers were killed.

Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Ha­mas’s mil­i­tary wing, the Al Qas­sam Bri­gades, said 15 mem­bers of an elite Is­raeli mil­i­tary unit trav­elled through Gaza us­ing cars dis­guised as ve­hi­cles be­long­ing to a lo­cal char­ity.

Mr Obeida said their goal was to set up a sys­tem to eaves­drop on Ha­mas’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­work. He also showed video footage of what he said was the sol­diers in ac­tion.

Ha­mas cap­tured equip­ment used by the group, promis­ing $1m to any­one who sup­plied the group with in­for­ma­tion about the op­er­a­tion.

The group said last week that it has ar­rested 45 Gazan col­lab­o­ra­tors with Is­rael after the Khan Yu­nis in­ci­dent.

Ha­mas has pub­lished pho­to­graphs of eight peo­ple and two ve­hi­cles it said were linked to the op­er­a­tion, prompt­ing the Is­raeli army cen­sor to ap­peal to the pub­lic and me­dia not to re­pub­lish the images.

The in­ci­dent has prompted Ha­mas to vow re­venge for the raid, which sparked the dead­li­est flare-up be­tween the two sides since a war in 2014.

A Novem­ber 13 cease­fire, which was bro­kered by Egypt, ended the fight­ing that had raised fears of an­other war be­tween Is­rael and Pales­tinian mil­i­tants in Gaza.

Is­rael says the mea­sure is nec­es­sary to iso­late Ha­mas and stop it ob­tain­ing weapons, but crit­ics say it amounts to col­lec­tive pun­ish­ment of the ter­ri­tory’s two mil­lion res­i­dents.

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