JERUSALEM – IDF forces have captured several hundred Hamas terrorists over the course of Operation Protective Edge. Many of them have been turned over for further questioning and investigation.
The questioning of one of the terrorists revealed another of Hamas’ plans to kill and abduct Israeli soldiers and civilians. A Shabak investigation exposed that Hamas terrorists received training in Malaysia and Gaza to infiltrate Israel by air to kidnap and murder Israelis.
In the early hours of July 21st, IDF forces captured a Hamas cell commander in Khan Yunis, in southern Gaza. When questioned by the Shabak, also known as the Shin Bet Security Service, the cell commander revealed that he had been sent by Hamas leadership to Malaysia for paragliding training. The plan was to parachute into Israel to kidnap and murder civilians.
The prisoner also revealed Hamas plans to ambush Israeli soldiers with anti-tank missiles and even pointed to a terrorist sniper nest on a map of Gaza. The location was the tenth floor of the Palestinian Red Crescent building in Khan Yunis.
The investigation of this terrorist commander reveals the process of the making of a terrorist. After being recruited into Hamas’ military wing in 2007, the terrorist underwent regular combat training. Every five months he would attend refresher courses which involved training with Kalashnikov automatic rifles, Soviet-made PKC machine guns and locally manufactured hand grenades.
In 2010, the terrorist was enlisted into a special force sent to Malaysia for parachute training, in preparation for a cross-border kidnapping attack on Israel. He and ten other terrorists from across Gaza spent a week receiving training in Malaysia.
After returning to Gaza, the cell was given additional weapons training. They were warned to maintain secrecy, and not to reveal details of their Malaysian training to anyone.
In 2014, four years after being sent to Malaysia, the Hamas commando squad was summoned for more parachute training. This time the training took place inside the Gaza Strip. According to the prisoner, the squad was not told about where the kidnapping attack would take place.
The terrorist told investigators about a Hamas training camp that took place in June of this year. Exercises involved training with handguns, Kalashnikovs, M-16s, RPGs, machine guns and demolitions training. Terrorists who attended the camp were trained in various methods of kidnapping soldiers and how to operate inside Hamas’ extensive tunnel network. The terrorist was meant to attend such a course after Ramadan.
Ultimately, he was arrested by IDF soldiers operating in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.
A Shabak spokesman said that the details of their investigation reveals the extent of the efforts and resources that Hamas invests in bolstering its military capabilities, including the building and training of a standing commando army to attack and kidnap Israeli soldiers and civilians.
“Hamas goes to incredible lengths to carry out attacks against Israel. That is why the IDF will not rest in its mission to dismantle the organization’s terrorist infrastructure and keep the people of Israel safe” the spokesman concluded.