A smuggling tunnel beneath the Egyptian-Gaza border in Rafah [File].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A Hamas fighter and tunnel digger has given his interrogators in Israel a bevy of intelligence about the group’s recent tunnel construction, planned attacks on Israel, battlefield strategy, and military cooperation with Iran, the Shin Bet General Security Service said Tuesday, after news of the operative’s arrest was made public.
The fighter, Ibrahim Adal Shahada Sha'ar, a 21-year-old native of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, was arrested by the Shin Bet and the Israel Police last month at Erez Crossing on the Israel border, after he arrived at the installation to submit an application to enter Israel. An official with the Shin Bet said that Sha’ar’s application to enter was for “personal or humanitarian reasons” and that officers at the crossing knew who he was and arrested him on the spot.
The Shin Bet on Tuesday said Sha’ar gave up to his interrogators a trove of intelligence relating to Hamas operations in Gaza and in Rafah in particular, including about their plans to use tunnels along the border to carry out attacks on Israel, like they did with brutal effectiveness during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.
The Shin Bet said Sha’ar also gave details about Hamas battlefield strategy, the make-up and capabilities of their “elite” infantry unit, as well as the anti-aircraft and surveillance capabilities of the Hamas armed wing.
Sha’ar himself took part in a series of battlefield tasks during last summer’s war, the Shin Bet said, including field logistics, and transporting fighters and firearms on the battlefield. He also admitted to laying an anti-tank IED on one occasion.
The Rafah native had allegedly been spending recent months working on tunnel construction, during which he learned of tunnels heading for the Kerem Shalom crossing on the Israel border, potentially for use in an infiltration attack. Under questioning he also gave up the location of digging sites, tunnel openings, and the routes of tunnels currently under construction in the Gaza Strip. He also reportedly told his interrogators that a road recently built by Hamas along the Gaza border with Israel is meant in part to be used for attacks on Israel, during which vehicles will use the road to charge across the border.
Gaza Jihadi group reveals new terror tunnels in underground video report
He also reportedly gave details on his observations about the military cooperation between Hamas and Iran. The Shin Bet said he described how they transfer money to the organization and supply firearms and electronics, including devices meant for jamming radio frequencies, meant to be used to take down Israeli drones flying over Gaza. He also observed how they attempted to train Hamas fighters in the use of hang gliders for attacks on Israel.
On July 31st, Sha’ar was indicted at the Beersheba District Court on charges of membership in an illegal organization, attempted murder, and contact with a foreign agent, and taking part in illegal military training.