(photo credit: Channel 10)
Israel on Thursday distanced itself from a mysterious air strike in Sudan
earlier in the week – despite news reports quoting IDF officers who took credit
for the bombing.
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Time magazine quoted a senior IDF officer, who it
claimed confirmed that Israel was behind the strike against a car, in which two
people were killed. One of them was reportedly a Sudanese national.
other was said to have been a senior Hamas operative – possibly in charge of
smuggling weaponry to the Gaza Strip.
“It’s not our first time there,”
the official reportedly told Time
, referring to a 2009 attack in which the IDF
destroyed a weapons convoy near Sudan’s border with Egypt.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Israel was not behind everything
“Some see Israel’s hand in anything that happens, and it
is not always true,” Netanyahu said during a press conference in Berlin, with
German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He refused to elaborate.
His choice of
words, however, was interesting since “not always true” did not mean that this
applied to Tuesday night’s strike in Sudan.
The Palestinian Ma’an News
Agency on Thursday identified one of the men killed in the strike as Abdul-Latif
Ashkar, who it said had replaced Mahmoud Ali Mabhouh as Hamas’s leading weapons
smuggler after he was assassinated in Dubai in January 2010. Israel has been
credited with the Mabhouh assassination.
Ma’an said that Ashkar was in
his mid-40s, and a senior member of Hamas’ military wing. He was born in
Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, and was responsible for coordinating the
transfer of weapons from Iran, Syria and Lebanon to the Gaza Strip. Sudan is a
known stopover in the smuggling route to Gaza.
The Kuwait newspaper Al-Jarida
reported Thursday that Dirar Abu Sisi – the Hamas rocket developer in
– gave Israeli intelligence “valuable information” that led to
the attack on arms smugglers in Port Sudan earlier this week.
to a source quoted by the paper, Abu Sisi passed along the sensitive information
to Israel following his alleged abduction during a train ride in Ukraine in
The source told Al-Jarida
that Israel also received valuable
information on smuggling routes and cells operating from Sudan, through Egypt –
and in the Gaza Strip from a number of southern Sudanese refugees who have
migrated to Israel.