Hamas Seeks To Root Out Israeli Spies

Gaza Rulers Promise To Treat Confessed Informers Less Harshly

Kindler Gentler Hamas: Hamas militants seek to round up suspected Israeli informants. The Gaza rulers are vowing to take a gentler approach to spies if they confess.
getty images
Kindler Gentler Hamas: Hamas militants seek to round up suspected Israeli informants. The Gaza rulers are vowing to take a gentler approach to spies if they confess.

By Reuters

Published May 08, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

The alleged spy buried his face in his hands inside a Gaza jail as he admitted passing intelligence to Israel during its battles with armed Palestinian groups.

“My handlers in Israel called me and told me that collaborators in Gaza don’t know one another and that each worked alone, so hide and stay as you are,” the man told visiting reporters, under the watchful eye of a plainclothed Hamas security officer.

“I should have turned myself in. This is my problem now. Maybe if I had, you wouldn’t find me here,” he said.

The Islamist Hamas government, which is pledged to Israel’s destruction by force of arms, is lauding a recent campaign to root out informants in its midst, which it hopes will deprive Israel of a subtle but effective tool.

The muscular 41-year-old, who did not give his name, missed the deadline to turn himself in and will not receive leniency when his case goes to trial, Hamas says. Fellow prisoners listened to his anguish over his unknown fate through metal windows in the concrete corridor.

The Hamas Interior Ministry says the month-long campaign which ended on April 11 was a policy shift away from harsher tactics against spies accused of passing on vital information, such as the whereabouts of arms’ depots or top militants.

These tip-offs are believed to have helped Israel plan its air strikes during the eight-day conflict with Hamas last November, when Israeli jets hit some 1,450 targets, killing more than 170 Palestinians, including many civilians.

The militant group used to broadcast chilling confessions of collaborators and put the worst offenders to death.

In scenes that shocked the world, seven suspected spies were yanked from Hamas custody in Gaza during the November conflict and shot dead in the street. One corpse was dragged by motorbike through Gaza city by pistol-waving men shouting, “God is Great.”

But in this latest campaign, publicized through billboards and mosque sermons, Hamas’s Internal Security Service (ISS) promised to treat those who surrendered of their own volition gently.

The campaign, Hamas says, was meant to bring wayward citizens back into the fold and counter through persuasion the espionage it says Israel gains through manipulation.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.