Hamas official Mohammed Abu Marzouk told the Arab media that the undercover Israeli operation in Gaza last week in which Lt.-Colonel ‘M’ was killed and another officer injured surrounded Israel’s efforts to locate terror tunnels in Gaza. The undercover force was detected in the Khan Yunis area, leading to the deadly shootout and a major rescue mission to get the team out, involving IAF choppers and aerial support.
Hamas political official Khalil Al-Hayya added that the IDF was working on planting spy apparatus that would provide an ongoing look at Hamas’ operations, but the mission went sour.
The operation led to Hamas bombarding Israeli communities in Southern Israel with some 500 rockets, leading to one death, injuries and extensive property damage. The Israeli air force retaliated by striking terrorist targets in Gaza, but the government opposed a major military operation despite the magnitude of the Hamas strike.
This led to the resignation of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who stated he cannot remain a member of the government, which he feels has failed regarding the situation in Gaza and Hamas.
Palestinians inspecting the vehicle – after the IDF blew it up:
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PHOTO: #Israel President Reuven Rivlin embraces the two children of #IDF Special Force "Col. M" (full name not released for security purposes) who was killed in a botched mission in #Gaza. He told them "your dad was a hero. One of the bravest and most daring soldiers and commanders of the State of Israel. He lived the values he was brought up on: bravery, self-sacrifice, daring and determination"
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)