Photo Credit: Majdi Fathi/TPS
Hamas recruits during a physical training session at Hamas' police academy in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip. Gaza, Feb 6, 2020.

Sources in the Gaza Strip report feverish activity by Hamas’ intelligence services following the arrest of an Islamic State (ISIS) terror cell that was allegedly actually being directed by Israeli intelligence, and the smuggling of a Hamas officer into Israel who had access to valuable information.

Muhammad Abu Ajawa, a senior member of the Eastern Brigade in the Gaza Strip, an intelligence expert who is familiar with communications systems and cameras, was arrested by Hamas.

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Izz a-Din Badr, a senior member of Hamas’ Naval Commando unit, fled to Israel with valuable intelligence.

The entire squad thought it was working for ISIS, and its commanders concealed that it was operating for Israel against Hamas.

Hamas’ intelligence mechanisms, shocked by the depth of the intrusion attributed to Israel, are trying to estimate the intelligence damage and detect a leak at the top of the organization and especially in the Naval Commandos and the Eastern Division units.

Last week, sources in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon reported that an ISIS cell had recently been detained in the Gaza Strip. During the investigation, it became clear that while its members thought they were being operated by ISIS, it was determined that they were actually being used by the Israeli intelligence to infiltrate into Hamas.

Sources in Gaza and media outlets reported that Badr has been smuggled out of the Gaza Strip by the IDF in recent days, carrying a laptop with valuable information on Hamas activity.

Those who recruited the leaders apparently did excellent fieldwork and located some of Hamas’s most important activists who are in a position where they are exposed to information of the highest intelligence value.

The Amad agency provides details about ” Abu Ajawa and claims that he is a 32-year-old resident of the Shaja’iya neighborhood, a graduate of computer studies

Abu Ajawa served as a commander in the Izz Din al-Qassam Brigades and in the Hamas internal security apparatus, and it appears that he was recruited as Israeli intelligence in 2009.

“Hamas is now working to assess the damage,” Gaza officials told TPS.

This is the second case in which Israel has succeeded in recruiting senior members of Hamas’ naval commando unit.

The Amad news agency says, based on Hamas’ sources, that the members of the cell arrested were mostly Hamas operatives who left the organization and moved to serve ISIS following the settling of internal accounts within Hamas’ military wing.

The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported last week that the cell was instructed to place explosive devices in government institutions, courts, and damage Hamas’ high-quality weapons depots.

Squad members were arrested in the apartment with large sums of money, equipment, devices, weapons and motorcycles that were to be used for a series of attacks.

The cell was allegedly responsible for a series of explosions that occurred last October near Hamas police checkpoints in the Gaza Strip.

Following Badr’s smuggling out of the Gaza Strip, Hamas intelligence personnel have begun a wave of arrests and investigations in both the Naval Commando and the Eastern Brigade of the Gaza Strip.

These are now examining cameras, maps and documents, Abu Ajwa served as an intelligence instructor and was exposed to cameras and communications systems.

A few weeks ago, sources in the Gaza Strip reported that Masa’eb Matewa, the nephew of Yahya Senwar, the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, also joined ISIS, after holding positions in the Naval Commando.

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