Israel sabotages ceasefire talks by attacking Gaza, assassinating Hamas commander and killing six other Palestinians; Israeli officer also killed

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Israel sabotages ceasefire talks by attacking Gaza, assassinating Hamas commander and killing six other Palestinians; Israeli officer also killed
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Israel sabotages ceasefire talks by attacking Gaza, assassinating Hamas commander and killing six other Palestinians; Israeli officer also killed

Date: Sunday, 11 Nov 2018
 
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This article, dated 12 November 2018, says:

Israeli forces have killed seven Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in airstrikes and an undercover raid that Hamas said targeted one of its commanders and the Israeli military said left one of its officers dead.

...

Hamas said the incident began when assailants in a passing car opened fire on a group of its armed men, killing one of its commanders. Hamas gunmen gave chase as the car sped back towards the border with Israel, Hamas said in a statement.

This article, dated 12 November 2018, says:

Arab and Palestinian media that have been closely following the incident in the Gaza Strip on Sunday night are contradicting the Israeli report of “routine activity” that went awry, and paint a picture of what was ostensibly a planned mission. A special unit of Israel Defense Forces commandos entered the Strip in a civilian car in order to abduct the man responsible for Hamas' network of subterranean tunnels leading into Israel from the area of Khan Yunis, according to the Lebanese paper Al Akhbar and the Iz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

The raid failed and the soldiers were exposed, the Arab sources report. Seven Palestinians died in the ensuing exchange of gunfire and aerial raids, one of whom was Nour Baraka, the brigades commander in Khan Yunis.

According to an official announcement from the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, after the Israeli force was exposed and the gunfight began, the Israel Air Force began bombing the Strip to cover for the retreating IDF forces.

This article, dated 12 November 2018, says:

The Israeli military censor has prohibited domestic media naming the Israeli commando who was killed. But an Israeli source has informed me he is Lt. Col. Mahmoud Kheireddine from the Druze village of Hurfeish. Another officer who was wounded is from Isfiya. They both served in Sayeret Matkal, Israel’s equivalent of the Navy SEALs. Kheireddine was deputy commander of the unit. Given the death of so high-ranking an IDF officer, something went terribly wrong on this mission.

This article, dated 7 December 2018, says:

The undercover Israeli troops involved in November's botched operation in the Gaza Strip were detained and questioned by members of Hamas' military wing for 40 minutes before the raid failed, a Qatari news site reported, citing a Hamas source.

The report said that Nur al-Din Barakeh, a senior officer in Hamas' military wing, suspected that the soldiers were lying and decided to transfer them to a Hamas command post. At that point, the Israelis opened fire, killing Barakeh and wounding another commander. They then fled the site in a van.

Hamas returned fire and pursued the Israelis, the report said, leading Israeli helicopters to open fire at the Hamas members and anyone else who tried to approach the fleeing Israelis. The Israelis then headed for an agricultural area east of Khan Younis and were eventually extracted by helicopter. A 41-year-old Israeli officer was killed in the incident.

Massive fire exchanges ensued between Israel and the Palestinians in the days following the failed raid, until a cease-fire was finally reached.

After Hamas discovered the Israeli soldiers, the report added, it succeeded in uncovering a network of collaborators who were working with Israel. The Hamas investigation reportedly also discovered that senior officials from the Palestinian Authority’s intelligence services were collaborating with Israel.

The report said the Israeli forces sought to install sophisticated listening devices and rented an apartment on the coast near Khan Younis to use as a base. A Palestinian source told the Israel Television News Company Wednesday that the Israeli team had been undercover in Gaza for weeks.

According to the source, the soldiers pretended to work for a Gaza-based welfare association, Al-Basma Club for the Disabled.

The report said the Israeli force was exposed by chance due to a "problem" with some of the passengers in the vehicle, where something apparently "did not conform with customary activity in Palestinian culture."

British online newspaper The Independent reported on Sunday, however, that the special forces were exposed by because of their accents.


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