Report: Commander of Elite Hamas Navy Unit Defects to Israel With Documents From Gaza Terror Group
A senior Hamas official defected to Israel over the weekend, a leading Saudi media outlet reported on Sunday.
According to the report, Mohammed Omar Abu Ajwa, who commanded an elite unit of naval commandos, escaped by boat accompanied by his brother on Saturday.
The official had apparently been exposed as an Israeli spy and was helped by the Israelis to cross into Israel. He was said to have been carrying important Hamas documents with him. He had reportedly been cooperating with Israel since 2009.
Alternatively citing the Hamas Interior Ministry and Palestinian media sources, Al Arabiya said Hamas also arrested 16 of its own members accused of espionage on behalf of Israel.
Most of the arrested were from the group’s Al Qassam Brigades, which has committed numerous terror attacks against the Jewish state.
According to Israeli daily Haaretz, Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem vigorously rejected the report, claiming that it only served Israel’s interests.
“The Al-Arabiya channel is promoting rumors that serve the aims of the occupation in destabilizing the home front in Gaza,” Qassem said.
In 2016, another senior Hamas member, Bassam Mahmoud Baraka, allegedly defected to Israel. At the time he was said to have possessed a large amount of information about the terror group’s extensive tunnel network in the coastal enclave.
Famously, the son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef escaped to Israel in 2007, after serving for over a decade as a highly valuable informant.