ציוד ההאזנה של חמאס
A still image taken from the Al-Jazeera report purports to show IDF listening devices seized by Hamas in Gaza
Photo: Screenshot
A still image taken from the Al-Jazeera report purports to show IDF listening devices seized by Hamas in Gaza

Al-Jazeera claims to expose new details on botched IDF raid in Gaza

Report by Qatar-based TV network says November 2018 operation aimed to place listening devices on closed Hamas communications, but terror group operatives grew suspicious of undercover Israeli troops, leading to firefight, death of soldier and emergency rescue

Elior Levy |
Updated: 12.02.19 , 11:47
A new report aired Sunday by Qatar's Al-Jazeera TV network claimed to reveal new details of a botched IDF operation in Gaza last year that led to the death of a senior Israeli intelligence officer.
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  • The report showed among other items the fake Palestinian IDs used by the IDF commando unit that entered the Gaza town of Khan Yunis last November, details of the Israelis' true identities and even the seating arrangements for the three IDF vehicles later seized by the Hamas military wing.
    ציוד ההאזנה של חמאס ציוד ההאזנה של חמאס
    A still image taken from the Al-Jazeera report purports to show IDF listening devices seized by Hamas in Gaza
    (Photo: Screenshot)
    The covert IDF operation quickly dissolved into anarchy, resulting in the death of Lt. Col. M. and in another officer being severely hurt.
    The Al-Jazeera report says that three women IDF fighters were among the members of the unit that went into Gaza. The report did say how the women were dressed.
    A clip showing what Al-Jazeera says is a firefight between Hamas and the IDF unit that entered Khan Yunis (Video: Al-Jazeera)
    The first part of the report plays recordings of what it says is the Israeli team after an exchange of fire with Hamas militants, in which people can be heard speaking in Hebrew as a soldier is apparently given medical treatment.
    Among the voices, a man can possibly be heard saying a soldier's aorta has been severed.
    More gunfire can be heard in what appears to be an IAF bombing run in the area carried out to help soldiers escape Gaza.
    The recording seems to indicate that the soldiers were likely hunkered down in a corner of an unspecified location, trying to rearm and protect themselves, while a voice in Arabic yells for them to come out.
    ציוד ההאזנה של חמאס ציוד ההאזנה של חמאס
    A still image taken from the Al-Jazeera report purports to show IDF tools seized by Hamas in Gaza
    (Photo: Screenshot)
    The second part of the report deals with the actual operation in Khan Yunis and what reportedly went wrong.
    According to Hamas military personnel interviewed by the network, the IDF unit wanted to plant listening devices on a protected communication network that could not be reached with external devices.
    According to Al-Jazeera, the communication network has been used by the Hamas military wing for many years in order to evade eavesdroppers.
    The Hamas unit in charge of safeguarding this communication network was revealed in the report, which also claimed that a Hamas engineer was killed as he tried to destroy a covert IDF listening and espionage facility in Gaza, possibly due to a self-destruct mechanism built into the system.
    ציוד ההאזנה של חמאס ציוד ההאזנה של חמאס
    A still image taken from the Al-Jazeera report purports to show IDF tools and weapons seized by Hamas in Gaza
    (Photo: Screenshot)
    The report said that the commando squad entered the Gaza Strip either through an area in the south of the enclave, where there are fewer security cameras along the border fence or by posing as humanitarian aid workers passing through the Erez Checkpoint in the northern Strip.
    The report showed an image of what it said was one of the IDF soldiers on the raid posing as a volunteer for a German aid organization.
    According to Al-Jazeera, the unit was discovered during a nighttime meeting with Hamas operatives. Several tactical errors, including how some of the IDF unit's members spoke Arabic, reportedly resulted in them being escorted by the now suspicious Hamas operatives for interrogation.
    ציוד ההאזנה של חמאס ציוד ההאזנה של חמאס
    A listening device purportedly planted by the IDF in Gaza
    (Photo: Screenshot)
    At that point, the report says, Lt. Col. A. opened fire at close range, killing his comrade Lt. Col. M. and several Hamas militants.
    During the rescue operation that followed, the squad managed to seize several documents and intelligence data. The soldiers were evacuated by helicopter back into Israeli territory.
    According to the IDF investigation into the botched operation, 20 minutes passed from the beginning of the firefight and the soldiers returning to Israel.
    According to findings, Lt. Col. M. was killed by friendly fire and not by Hamas, as the IDF thought at first.
    הבוקר התקיים טקס הענקת צל"ש הרמטכ"ל לסגן-אלוף מ' ז"ל על פועלו במבצע המיוחד בחאן יונס בנובמבר 2018הבוקר התקיים טקס הענקת צל"ש הרמטכ"ל לסגן-אלוף מ' ז"ל על פועלו במבצע המיוחד בחאן יונס בנובמבר 2018
    IDF Chief Aviv Kochavi awarding M.'s family with his medal of honor
    (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
    Lt. Col. M., who was 41 at the time of his death, left behind a wife and two children.
    During his funeral, President Reuven Rivlin delivered a tearful eulogy to the soldier.
    "I came to thank and salute you in the name of all of Israel. Our best of the best will always be remembered in our hearts," the president said.
    He then embraced M.'s children, saying: "Your father is a hero."
    First published: 11:47 , 12.02.19
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