Palestinian militants of the Islamist movement Hamas' military wing Al-Qassam Brigades.
(photo credit: SAID KHATIB / AFP)
Hamas said over the weekend that it was continuing its investigation into the November 11 clash with an elite IDF unit near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.
A Hamas official in the Gaza Strip confirmed on Saturday that his men were searching for a van allegedly used by the members of the unit.
Hamas policemen and members of the movement’s military wing, Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades, set up checkpoints in various parts of the Gaza Strip during the past few days in an attempt to capture Palestinians who may have collaborated with the IDF unit.
The move came after the brigades published photos
of several men and women who, it claimed, were part of the IDF unit. The group appealed to Palestinians to provide details about the men and women.
The Qatari Al Jazeera network quoted a source in the Qassam Brigades as saying that his men have laid their hands on equipment that was left behind by the IDF unit.
The source added that the brigades were close to ending their investigation into the incident, during which an IDF officer and seven Palestinians were killed, including Hamas’s Khan Yunis military commander.
The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar
quoted a Hamas security source as saying that the movement was also searching for members of the IDF unit who are believed to still be inside the Gaza Strip.
The source claimed that security cameras in the Strip have revealed that a van used by the unit was still inside the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave. Hamas believes that Palestinian collaborators had helped the IDF unit, the source added.
Sources in the Gaza Strip said on Saturday that Hamas was still trying to figure out the nature of the IDF unit’s operation. The sources said that it’s widely believed that the IDF unit’s mission was to plant espionage and intelligence-gathering equipment inside the Strip.
Meanwhile, a Hamas delegation headed by Saleh Arouri left Cairo after a three-day visit during which it discussed with Egyptian intelligence officials the possibility of reaching a truce with Israel. The discussions also focused on ways of ending the dispute between Hamas and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction.
On Sunday, a Fatah delegation is expected to head to Cairo for talks with Egyptian intelligence officials on the truce and the dispute with Hamas. The delegation consists of Fatah’s Azzam al-Ahmed and PA general intelligence chief Majed Faraj.
The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida
reported on Saturday that Islamic State terrorists in Sinai intercepted an Iranian arms shipment intended for Hamas. The paper added that according to a senior Egyptian military official, the substantial shipment included anti-tank GPS-guided missiles such as state-of-the-art Russian 9M133 Kornet man-portable missiles.
“Such missiles can be used to kills our soldiers,” the official added.
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