A Hamas fighter captured by Israel early in July has revealed a wealth of information about the terror group’s plans to attack civilians and soldiers in the Jewish State.
The arrest of Ibrahim Adel Shehadeh Sha’er, 21 was only cleared for release early Tuesday afternoon, however, after weeks of questioning.
Sha’er was captured in a joint operation by Israel Police and operatives from the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), according to a release sent to Hebrew-language media.
A resident of Rafah, Sha’er revealed a great deal of information to his investigators, including details about Hamas emergency procedures.
Hamas has rebuilt much of its terrorist infrastructure since the end of last year’s Operation Protective Edge war in the region, he said, including its tunnel network.
Sha’er provided specific locations and routes of the tunnels, as well as digging sites in Rafah where tunnels start – including one that he said led to the Kerem Shalom Crossing into Israel.
He also shared details about the purpose of the new road built by Hamas along the security fence. Shin Bet was able to confirm, for instance, that the road was intended for use in a surprise attack on Israel that was to involve vehicles that were to have crossed the border.
A Hamas operative, Sha’er personally was involved in many different aspects of terrorist training that included combat, command, use of advanced weapons and explosives.
During the war he served in a logistics and support company that transported military equipment and explosives to fighters in the field. Sha’er was also directly involved in combat zones, planting anti-tank mines and carrying out observation in the field.
According to the report, Sha’er was also privy to information discussed by many Hamas senior officials. He revealed many details about the relationship between Hamas and Iran, who he said sent generous military aid to Gaza to strengthen the terror organization.
Iran has been sending money, advanced weaponry and electronic equipment to Gaza, including devices used to disrupt radio frequencies and help bring down Israeli reconnaissance drones flying above the enclave. Sha’er also claimed that Iran had trained Hamas operatives in how to fly para-gliders, with the hopes of using the novel equipment to infiltrate across Israel’s border.
The Hamas prisoner also provided information about the formation of elite units in the terrorist group, and their anti-tank, anti-aircraft and observation capabilities.
At present, he said, Hamas can view and film Israeli territory at a distance of three kilometers (approximately two miles) in from the border.
Sha’er provided more details about the changes in military strategy, logistics and unit formations since last summer’s war as well.
He told his interrogators that Hamas has indeed been confiscating materials for manufacture of weapons that are being permitted by Israel into the enclave – due to international pressure – for reconstruction of civilian homes and other infrastructure.
Civilians are once again being endangered, Sha’er said, as Hamas routinely stores explosives in residential structures – as it did prior to last summer’s war – in anticipation of air strikes by Israel on separate weapons storage sites.
An indictment against Sha’er was filed with the Be’er Sheva District Court on July 31, accusing the Hamas operative of membership and activity in an outlawed association, attempted murder, contact with a foreign agent, forbidden military training and additional various weapons offenses.