Palestinian Hamas militants attend the funeral of their comrades who were killed in an explosion, in the central Gaza Strip May 6, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)
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 November 11, 2018. Hamas refers 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 Obeidah, 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 in order to spy on his group’s telecommunication network, Abu Obeidah 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 Obediah 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 female 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 IDF unit also used forged documents to rent a tourist shack in Khan Yunis and used it as a meeting point for its members.
Abu Obeidah 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 commander of the elite unit.
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 Obeidah 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 Islamic countries. He did not provide further details.
Abu Obeidah 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 Qassam, 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.
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