'Lt. Col. M killed during mission to locate terror tunnels'

Second senior Hamas leader claims secret operation during which Israeli officer was killed had aimed to plant spy devices in Gaza Strip.

Dalit Halevy,

Scene of battle in Gaza in which Lt. Col. M was killed
Scene of battle in Gaza in which Lt. Col. M was killed

A senior official from the Hamas terror group has claimed that the operation during which an IDF officer was killed last week was aimed at planting a special listening device.

Last Sunday night, a 41-year-old Israeli lieutenant colonel, identified solely by the initial “M”, was killed in a pitched battle with Hamas terrorists deep inside the Gaza Strip, near the city of Khan Yunis.

The battle took place after the elite special operations unit M. was a member of was uncovered during a mission in the Strip. Hamas terrorists attacked the unit, killing M. and wounding a second officer.

While the IDF has remained mum on the details of the operation, Khalil Al-Hayya, a member of the Hamas political bureau, said on Saturday that the Israeli team was apparently attempting to plant spy devices at key locations in the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave.

A second senior Hamas official, Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, provided additional details regarding the foiled Israeli operation during which Lt. Col. M was killed.

In an interview with the Hamas-affiliated newspaper Al-Risalah, Abu Marzook claimed the Israeli operation was part of a larger effort by Israeli security forces to locate terror tunnels in the Gaza Strip. The mission was also intended to open lines of communication with Israeli agents operating inside the Strip, said Abu Marzook.

Abu Marzook added that in the subsequent fighting between Israel and the terror group from Sunday evening until a ceasefire last Tuesday, Hamas scored a “strategic victory” over Israel. The senior Hamas terrorist called Israeli attacks on “civilian buildings” and “communication buildings” part of a failed strategy.