Hamas member at Rafah crossing (archives)
Photo: AP
Hamas, Fatah members clash in Gaza
Photo: Reuters

Report: IDF kidnaps senior Hamas official

Palestinians report Israeli troops disguised as members of Hamas' security force kidnapped Muhawesh al-Kadi, senior member of group's military wing in Rafah. Sources say man involved in abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit

A group of undercover Israeli soldiers disguised as Arabs on Friday kidnapped a senior Hamas member of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, near the Rafah crossing in the Gaza Strip, Palestinians sources told Hamas' website.


Palestinian sources told Ynet that the man was apparently involved in the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.


The sources said that the undercover soldiers entered the Gaza Strip, and carried out their operation near the Rafah Crossing. According to the sources, the undercover soldiers were disguised as grocers riding a donkey-pulled wagon. Sources said they disguised force even chatted with locals near the crossing.


According to the report, the undercover soldiers approached a plot of land belonging to Muhawesh al-Kadi, a senior Hamas official who acts as spokesman of the organization’s special security forces in Rafah.


Al-Kadi was working his land when the disguised force approached and kidnapped him. The Palestinian sources reported that the operation went quickly and smoothly. The undercover force left Rafah with al-Kadi, and brought him to Israel.


According to the report, the operation was carried out about 2 kilometers from the security fence, in an area where a large number of Hamas gunmen are stationed.


Hamas officials confirmed that this was one of the Israelis' most daring acts and that troops disguised as Arabs had not entered so deep into the Strip for a long time.


At first, Hamas officials believed that al-Kadi was kidnapped by Fatah members on the backdrop of Friday's clashes in the Strip, and ruled out the possibility that it was an Israeli operation due to the distance from the fence and the boosted presence of Hamas gunmen in the area.


Hamas even considered launching an attack on Fatah members, but an inquiry in the area revealed that the man was kidnapped by an Israeli force that left toward Kerem Shalom, where it was guarded by two helicopters.


The IDF's Spokesperson's Office did not respond to the report.


פרסום ראשון: 09.08.07, 18:45
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