The Israeli special forces operation's failure in early November was allegedly due to the fact that IDF soldiers posing as NGO members were outed, according to a report on Sunday by The Independent, a British newspaper.
“[They] were posing as NGO workers; there were women in the car as well. They used this to justify why they were stealing into Gaza and had a story prepared should they be questioned,” Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesperson told the newspaper. Undercover Israelis used fake Gaza IDs, which included detailed information belonging to real Gazan citizens, and posed as medical aid workers, a Hamas official claimed in the report.“They had detailed but fake ID cards of Gaza residents, which were found,” Qassem said.The Hamas spokesperson explained to The Independent that they arrested those Gazans whose identities were “stolen,” but none of them knew anything about the operation or that their identities and personal information were being used.Walla! and Channel 2 reported that Israel successfully set up an NGO within Gaza as part of the operation, but Hamas denied these claims, the report stated.Another Hamas official claimed in the report that the Israeli operation’s alleged goal was to replace listening devices that were already planted.The IDF declined to comment on the report. Last week, the IDF announced that they opened two investigations into the botched operation. The operation led to a the largest barrage of rocket fire at Israel since 2014, with more than 460 rockets fired at Israel. Eight people, including an IDF lieutenant-colonel and a Hamas commander, were killed in the operation.
Destroyed car allegedly used by Israeli special forces in Gazan city of Khan Yunis, November 12, 2018 (Palestinian Press Agency)