Hamas leader escapes Gaza, fleeing to Israel on IDF ship, as Arab reports claim cooperation with Israel.
A senior Hamas military leader, who commanded a naval commando unit, escaped from Gaza on an IDF ship, Arab media reported Saturday.
Palestinian terror group Hamas said on Saturday that a senior naval commander in its armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, had fled the Gaza Strip to Israel after suspicions arose that he was working for Israel as a so-called “collaborator.”
The term is used to indicate a person who is suspected of sharing information or intelligence with Israel.
The official, said to have overseen the group’s divers unit, fled the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on an Israeli military boat with a laptop, cash, surveillance equipment, and “classified, dangerous documents,” according to a media report citing “sources” on Palestinian news site Amad media, an organization reportedly close to exiled Fatah commander Mohammad Dahlan. The report was picked up by Israel’s Channel 12 and Channel 13 news.
This is the second top Hamas commander who has been suspected recently of cooperating with Israel. A previous suspect, dubbed “Mahmoud,” is said to have been in charge of communications networks for the Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya and is believed by Hamas to have been working for Israel since 2009.
According to a report last week in Lebanon’s Al Akhbar newspaper, Hamas exposed “a dangerous operation by the Israeli intelligence services” to carry out terror attacks against Hamas targets in Gaza.
The report also claimed that Hamas arrested several ISIS operatives, who had planned a series of suicide attacks in Gaza, which would be carried out using explosive belts and booby-trapped motorcycles.
The report said the discovery sent senior Hamas leaders into a “state of hysteria” as the group launched an investigation and made dozens of arrests in search of additional suspects in the alleged spy network. Some half a million dollars and extensive equipment were seized in an unspecified raid, according to the report.
The report said “Mahmoud,” 32, arrested by Hamas and charged with spying for Israel.
Hamas routinely announces arrests of suspected “collaborators” in the Palestinian enclave, many of whom are sentenced to death.
(Arutz 7 / Times of Israel).