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Hamas offers $1mn reward for info on botched Israeli op

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Fighters from the Hamas military wing, Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, attend the funeral of a Palestinians killed during an Israeli raid on the Gaza Strip, in Khan Yunis on November 12, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has offered a reward of one million dollars for more information about a botched Israeli raid on the besieged Gaza Strip two months ago, saying the operation was aimed at planting surveillance devices on the movement's landline communications network.

Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades shared on Saturday video footage of Israeli commandos in action inside Gaza as well as several photos of the equipment they left behind.

The failed raid on November 11, 2018 sparked the heaviest fighting in Gaza since the 2014 Israeli war on the coastal sliver of land, prompting the Palestinian resistance to fire over 400 retaliatory rockets into the occupied territories. An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire ended tensions on November 13.

Speaking at a press conference in Gaza, Qassam spokesman Abu Obeida said a 15-member elite Israeli military unit had infiltrated into Gaza under the cover of fog and traveled there in cars disguised as vehicles belonging to a local charity.

The Israeli forces used fake Gazan IDs and forged documents of humanitarian workers and had undergone training for the operation from January to October 2018, he added.

Their goal, Obeida noted, was "establishing a spy system to eavesdrop on the communications network of the resistance in the Gaza Strip."

Hamas fighters, he said, managed to stop the Israeli operatives in a civilian car at a checkpoint near the city of Khan Yunis, prompting a deadly gunfire.

“As the Qassam patrol began detaining them, the [Israeli military] unit members opened fire, killing Nur Baraka, the [Qassam] field commander, and Mohammed al-Qarra, a Qassam fighter,” Obeida said.

“The Qassam fighters responded with gunfire, killing the commander of the unit and wounding one of its members.”

A helicopter which had been dispatched to Gaza managed to take away the remaining Israeli agents, the Qassam spokesman added.

He further offered a million-dollar reward to any local "collaborator" who supplies Hamas with information about the Israeli raid.

“The enemy and its security forces should be very worried,” he warned. “The treasure of information we gained will give us a strategic advantage on the level of the battle of wits with the Zionist enemy.”

Reports said the Israeli military censor unit had demanded the public and media not to republish the images released by the Qassam Brigades.

The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling siege since 2007 and witnessed three wars since 2008.

It has also witnessed a fresh wave of tensions since late last March, which marked the start of “the Great March of Return” protests.

The Tel Aviv regime carries out regular attacks on the coastal enclave under the pretext of hitting positions belonging to Hamas.

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