Hamas Releases Gunman Who Killed Israel Border Police Officer
i24 News – Hamas has released from custody the Palestinian gunman who shot Israel Border Police officer Barel Hadaria Shmueli in August during clashes at the Gaza border, Yediot Aharonot reports.
Shmueli succumbed to his wounds nine days after being shot in the head when clashes erupted between Palestinian rioters and Israeli security forces during protests along the fence separating Israel from the Gaza Strip.
The terrorist who shot Shmueli is not a Hamas member, but is active in the military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, according to the report.
He was transferred to a Hamas detention center in Gaza and held there for several weeks before being released.
The man’s identity was kept secret for fears of Israel eliminating the terrorist, but with the gunman’s release his picture has now been publicized.
According to the reporting, Hamas believes that Israel will attempt to take out Shmueli’s killer not during a period of calm but in the event of another military escalation.
However, Hamas has been operating under the assumption that the terrorist’s identity is already known to Israeli intelligence and that he has been blacklisted as an assassination target.
In the case of another violent confrontation between Israel and Gaza, the terrorist would go underground similar to other targets of Israeli assassination, according to the report.
Shmueli, 21, was a sniper and belonged to the special forces unit of the Mista’arvim, whose members are specifically trained to blend in with the Arab population.
The Israel Border Police said that Shmueli took part in “dozens of operations carried out to thwart terrorist attacks in the southern region of the country.”