Hamas: Slain IDF commando was from elite Matkal unit

Terror group claims commando unit in botched mission entered Gaza through official crossing, operated in other countries prior to mission.

Tzvi Lev ,

IDF special operations unit
IDF special operations unit
IDF Spokesperson's Unit

The Hamas terror group continues to released information about the highly classified special-operations unit that fought their way out of Gaza in last week's botched commando operation.

Channel 2 news reported on Thursday that Hamas concluded that the operatives were part Israel's elite Sayeret Matkal special forces unit. The Sayeret Matkal is one of the IDF's most legendary units and has been involved in many famous operations, including the hostage rescue mission in Uganda's Entebbe Airport in 1976.

Hamas also claims that the unit entered Gaza via an official crossing but declined to mention whether it was the Erez Crossing from Israel or the Sinai Desert's Rafiah Crossing. Hamas added that the unit had operated in several other countries prior to last week's mission.

Hamas has been intensively investigating last week's events and has called on the public to supply any information that might help them expose more details about the highly classified unit.

Earlier Thursday, Hamas released what is said was photos of the operatives and implored Gazans to supply any information which is liable to assist them in their effort.

The IDF Military Censor has been using unprecedented means to battle Hamas' investigatory efforts, including calling on the Israeli public not to share the photos that were disseminated by the terror group.

"Hamas is working now to interpret and understand the event that occurred within Gaza on November 11, and every piece of information, even if it is considered by the publisher as harmless, is liable for endangering human lives and damaging the security of the state," said the IDF Military Censor on Thursday.

Transcripts of Hamas' radio chatter during the operation that were released by Hadashot on Tuesday showed that the terror group originally thought it was battling drug smugglers during the shootout with the commandos. Only after IDF drones started strafing Hamas terrorists did the organization realize it was a commando op gone awry.

“Four fighter jets are above me. There was a strike near us. The jets are coming from the north. They attacked one of the (Hamas) cars. Hide. Close in on the Jews. Don’t let them leave Gaza," one Hamas commander yelled into the radio during the firefight.

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 that the Israeli team was apparently attempting to plant spy devices at key locations in the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave.