The Shin Bet revealed that a Hamas operative who defected to Israel from the Gaza Strip via sea provided valuable intelligence information on the terror organization to Israel.
Izz el-Din Hussein, 24, swam toward Israel from Gaza on June 28 and was immediately apprehended by Israeli naval forces as soon as he crossed into Israel’s waters and transferred to the Shin Bet for interrogation.
Hussein, a resident of Jabalia, north of Gaza City, claimed that he defected to Israel in order to escape family problems and persecution by Hamas commanders, the Shin Bet said in a statement. In the course of Hussein’s investigations, it was revealed that he was guilty of serious security offenses against Israel.
Following the Shin Bet’s statement, the IDF released a video of Hussein swimming to Israel, stating: “Following the Shin Bet’s statement, it has been permitted to reveal today [Thursday] that a month ago, Naval Forces arrested a suspect who attempted to infiltrate Israel’s naval territory via swimming from the Gaza Strip. The naval control system located the suspect and directed the combat soldiers of the Navy’s Squadrons 916 and Snapir toward him.”
CLEARED FOR RELEASE:
Our Navy's maritime intelligence located a suspect attempting to infiltrate Israel by swimming from Gaza last month. Upon locating him, troops from the Navy's security unit pursued & apprehended him.
Land, air, or sea, we continue to fight against terror. pic.twitter.com/gxeMQxp9Ce
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) July 30, 2020
בהמשך להודעת שב"כ, היום הותר לפרסום כי לפני כחודש עצרו כוחות זרוע הים חשוד שניסה לחדור בשחייה מרצועת עזה לשטחה הימי של ישראל. מערך השליטה הימי איתר את החשוד והכווין אליו את לוחמי פלגה 916 ולוחמי יחידת סנפיר של זרוע הים pic.twitter.com/fWAGHyrEp5
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) July 30, 2020
Hussein revealed that he was recruited by Hamas in 2013 and began working for Hamas’s military wing. In 2018 he was transferred to Hamas’s anti-aircraft wing, leading the shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile unit. At one point he kept an anti-aircraft missile in his home and was ordered to launch it at an IDF chopper when possible with the goal of killing or kidnapping IDF soldiers.
The Shin Bet extracted valuable intelligence information about Hamas’s operations and plans through Hussein’s interrogation.
“Hussein’s activities in Hamas and the vast knowledge he acquired in this framework served as a unique source of intelligence that revealed a significant amount of information about Hamas to the Shin Bet,” the security agency stated.
The Southern District prosecutor’s office filed an indictment against Hussein at the Be’er Sheva District Court for serious security offenses, including membership in a terrorist organization, holding a senior position in a terrorist organization, wielding weapons and military training for purposes of terrorism, infiltration of Israel, and others.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)