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November 21, 2013 12:30 pm

IDF Officer Says New Hamas Spy Balloons Have ‘Alarming Capability’

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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A Hamas observation balloon, photos of which were posted to its official Facebook page. Photo: Screenshot / Channel 2.

A Hamas observation balloon, photos of which were posted to its official Facebook page. Photo: Screenshot / Channel 2.

As Israel Defense Forces work to close the terror tunnels dug by Gaza-based Hamas, the Islamist party has resorted to using reconnaissance balloons to spy on Israel, even posting photos of them aloft onto the Hamas Facebook page.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2, a senior IDF officer in the Southern Command said that Hamas has resolved to gather intelligence deep inside Israel, and not just on the border. To this end, the officer said, Hamas has also erected a line of poles to which they’ve attached balloons filled with helium and mounted with cameras.

The officer said that the observation balloons have alarming capability to collect intelligence on military and civilian movements in Israel. He said the IDF sees Hamas trying to expand its reconnaissance abilities to strengthen its offensive capacity, based on building its rocket arsenal and digging tunnels into Israel.

The officer said that Israel recently allowed a large shipment of helium gas into Gaza for civilian use, the transfer of which may be rescinded if the intended use is to fuel more spy balloons.

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