By YAAKOV LAPPIN
Flying on a powered parachute [illustrative photo] Photo: REUTERS
Members of a Hamas cell trained in Malaysia to carry out a cross-border attack using a powered parachute, Hamas suspects have revealed to interrogators.
On July 21, the IDF arrested a Hamas cell commander in Khan Yunis who was a part of the group’s regional battalion.
The suspect told Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) officers he had trained in powered parachute attacks, as well as in how to kidnap a soldier. The training was part of Hamas’s preparations to oppose an IDF ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.
The suspect revealed that his cell had trained in setting up anti-tank missile ambushes and sniper attacks on IDF ground forces. Hamas had designated the 10th floor of a Red Crescent building in Khan Yunis as a sniper position, the investigation found.
The suspect joined Hamas in 2007 and became a part of its military wing, Izzadin Kassam. His rise through the terrorist army in Gaza reveals the extent of training Hamas members undergo. He became proficient in the use of a Kalashnikov automatic rifle in varying shooting positions, and then joined Hamas’s domestic guard force, where he served in night shifts.
The suspect then underwent additional training, mastering a heavy machine gun, as well as the use of locally produced hand grenades. In 2012, the Shin Bet said, he joined Hamas’s reserves unit, which was tasked with special operations during wartime.
In 2013, he joined an elite Hamas cell, received a Kalashnikov to carry with him at all times, and later trained in the use of M-16 rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and bombs.
The suspect was taught how to kidnap soldiers, and tunnel warfare.
He was scheduled to train others in the same combat skills this month.
The suspect traveled to Malaysia in 2012, where he and nine other Hamas members learned how to fly a powered parachute.
In Gaza, the cell members underwent repeated training sessions on how to fly into Israel and carry out attacks, and were ordered by their Hamas commanders to keep their training top secret.