Israeli intelligence agents last month arrested high-ranking Hamas tunnels engineer Bilal Razaineh, a 24-year-old resident of Gaza who was captured as he crossed the border fence into Israel, the Shin Bet revealed Wednesday after an indictment was filed in Be’er Sheva District Court for the terrorist activities in which he was involved. The charges included membership and activity in a banned organization and weapons offenses.
In the framework of a combined ISA and Israel Police operation, considerable information about Hamas’s tunneling operations has been obtained while questioning Razaineh, who has been a member of the Izz a-Din al Qassam military wing of Hamas for the past 10 years.
Razaineh, who was arrested on November 27, is the brother of Mustafa Razaineh, the head of internal security for Hamas in northern Gaza.
According to the Israel Security Agency (ISA / Shin Bet), most of Bilal Razaineh’s activity in Hamas in recent years has been in the field of tunneling and in the company of his brother. He provided considerable information on the outlines of tunnels in northern Gaza to his interrogators, as well as on Hamas’s tunneling operations in general. In this context, it was learned that a tunnel was dug from his family home, which branched into many other tunnels and serves – inter alia – as a storage area for war materiel.
Bilal also provided information about various Hamas positions, about his role as a Hamas sniper and on other Hamas – and Islamic Jihad – terrorist activities.
It was also learned that during Operation Protective Edge, his brother and other senior Hamas operatives hid in the Kamal Adwan Hospital in Gaza and from there – and civilian residences as well – directed the fighting. During Operation Protective Edge, Bilal acted – inter alia – as a courier and passed messages between his brother and senior Hamas operatives.
“It should be noted that the information gained about Hamas’s use of civilian structures in order to advance terrorist operations is an additional example of the repeated violation of international law by Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations,” the Shin Bet said in its statement.
“The information obtained during the investigation of Bilal, and other Hamas terrorists who have been arrested recently, underscores the great efforts that Hamas invests in preparing for a military clash with Israel.”