Hamas imposes naval blockade and checkpoints throughout the Gaza Strip, aimed at capturing escapee.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
An alleged double agent who worked as an operative for Hamas while providing intelligence to Israel escaped from a Gaza prison on Saturday morning, according to Hebrew-language reports.
Abed Al-Karim Abu Odeh, once a senior figure in Hamas’ military wing, has been imprisoned since 2019 on charges that he mapped the terror group’s extensive system of underground smuggling tunnels while spying for Israel.
According to reports, the escape is a massive embarrassment to Hamas, which referred to Abu Odeh as “an extremely dangerous security prisoner.”
The terror group has imposed a naval blockade aimed at preventing Abu Odeh from escaping the coastal enclave via the Mediterranean Sea, and multiple roadblocks have been set up throughout the Strip in what reports described as a “hysterical” atmosphere.
Hamas officials said they believe that Abu Odeh may attempt to cross into Israel. The group has also offered a generous cash reward for tips leading to his capture.
In a series of videos published by a senior Hamas commander, Abu Odeh is confirmed to be the man they believe responsible for sharing crtiical information about the terror group’s tunnel networks with Israeli security agencies.
During the May 2021 Israel-Gaza clash Operation Guardian of the Walls, intelligence about the locations of Hamas tunnels proved a crucial tool for the IDF.
Israel’s Air Force launched multiple air strikes against Hamas tunnels in the Strip, in order to prevent both weapons smuggling and to destroy missile stockpiles.
In December 2021, Israel completed construction of a 65-kilometer high-tech barrier running both above and below ground on the border with the Gaza Strip.
“There is no other place in the world that has built an underground barrier,” Fence Administration Director Brig.-Gen. Eran Ofir said at the opening ceremony. “It was a very complex project, both operationally and engineering-wise.”
The barrier took three and a half years to complete and cost an estimated $1 billion.