Hamas tunnel digger giving up much intel, says Shin Bet

Rafah man, who operated on the Gaza battlefield last summer, details training, funding from Tehran.

Hamas shows new tunnels built in Gaza (photo credit: ARAB MEDIA)
Hamas shows new tunnels built in Gaza
(photo credit: ARAB MEDIA)
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, battlefield strategy and military cooperation with Iran, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said on Tuesday.
The agency released the information after news of Ibrahim Adal Shahada Sha’ar’s arrest was made public on Tuesday.
Sha’ar, 21, from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, was arrested by the Shin Bet and the Israel Police last month at the Erez crossing to northern Gaza, when he arrived to submit an application to enter Israel.
Gaza Jihadi group reveals new terror tunnels in underground video report
Sha’ar’s application to enter was for “personal or humanitarian reasons,” and officers at the crossing knew who he was and arrested him on the spot, a Shin Bet official said.
Sha’ar gave his interrogators a great deal of intelligence relating to Hamas operations in Gaza and in Rafah in particular, including about plans to use tunnels under the border to carry out attacks in Israel, the agency said. The terrorist organization employed the tactic with brutal effectiveness during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.
Sha’ar also provided details about Hamas’s battlefield strategy, the make-up and capabilities of its “elite” infantry unit, and the anti-aircraft and surveillance capabilities of the movement’s armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, the Shin Bet said.
Sha’ar carried out a series of tasks during last summer’s war, including work in field logistics and transporting fighters and firearms on the battlefield, the agency said. He also admitted to laying an improvised antitank mine 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 Gaza Strip’s southern border with Israel, for use in infiltration attacks. Under questioning, he also gave up the location of digging sites and tunnel openings, and the routes of tunnels under construction.
He told his interrogators that a road recently built by Hamas along the border with Israel is meant in part to be used for attacks, during which vehicles will use the road to storm their way into Israel.
He also provided details on his observations about the military cooperation between Hamas and Iran. The Shin Bet said he described how Tehran transfers money to the Islamist organization and supplies firearms and electronics, including devices meant for jamming radio frequencies, meant to be used to take down Israel Air Force drones. He also noted how Iranians trained Hamas fighters in the use of hang gliders for attacks on Israel.
On July 31, Sha’ar was indicted in the Beersheba District Court for membership in an illegal organization, attempted murder, contact with a foreign agent and taking part in illegal military training.