A senior Hamas military commander in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, who commanded the terrorist group’s naval commando and was suspected of collaboration with Israel, fled the Gaza Strip aboard the IDF boat on Saturday, sources in Gaza told the news site Amad. The story was picked up by Israel’s 12 News.
According to the report, the senior commander took with him to the rescue boat a laptop with critical classified materials, along with money and wiretapping devices.
The same sources also said that this was the second senior Hamas commander recently suspected of collaborating with Israel. The previous suspect, known as “Mahmoud,” was in charge of the Palestinian factions’ networks in the Sajaiya neighborhood of Gaza, and trained Hamas recruits in information gathering techniques.
According to those sources, “Mahmoud” began cooperating with Israel as early as 2009, and reportedly had only recently revealed these ties, when he asked his brother to collect money for him and leave it next to a dumpster. The brother was captured by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
The sources said that Hamas reacted “hysterically” to the discovery, and the terrorist organization launched a wave of arrests, picking up dozens of suspects. It was also reported that Hamas seized about half a million dollars in cash, as well as a large amount of technological equipment intended for spying and tapping.
According to the sources, “investigations are ongoing in secret for fear that senior commanders in Hamas’ military wing may be involved (as well) in the spy network.”
Saturday’s Arab report also corresponds to a report published last week in the Lebanese Hezbollah-affiliated al-Akhbar, according to which Hamas had uncovered a “dangerous plot by the Israeli intelligence services” to carry out attacks against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
But the Lebanese report alleged that Hamas arrested a number of ISIS operatives who were planning to carry out a series of suicide bombings in the Gaza Strip using explosive belts and booby-trapped motorcycles. Amad published a detailed report confirming Al-Akhbar’s report. And so it appears that Hamas is fighting both Israeli moles and ISIS infiltrators.
The anonymous source speaking to Amad said that Hamas raided the homes of Salafi elements to find weapons, explosives, and attack motorcycles.
The source said the Gaza Interior Ministry deployed its forces and declared a state of emergency as soon as this plot was revealed, and issued pictures of suspects to be arrested in connection with this plot.