Hamas defector tells Israel his purpose was to down IDF chopper

Israel’s Shin Bet security service says Hamas terrorist who fled to Israel last month was in anti-aircraft unit.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The Shin Bet security agency said Thursday that a Hamas operative who made a dramatic escape from Gaza to Israel brought with him valuable intelligence on how the terror group operates.

Izz al-Din Hussein, 24, a resident of Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, swam into Israel on June 28 where he was arrested by an IDF force and taken for questioning by the General Security Service, the agency said.

Hussein told his captors he voluntarily defected from Gaza due to personal family issues “and after persecution and defamation by senior Hamas figures,” the GSS said.

During his interrogation, Hussein revealed that he was drafted into the military wing of Hamas in 2013 and for the past two years worked for Hamas in an anti-aircraft unit where he commanded a shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile squadron.

His squad’s purpose was to bring down an IDF helicopter inside the Gaza Strip with the goal of killing or abducting Israeli soldiers.

Hussein also described the various training and military activities Hamas carries out against Israel,

“Hussein’s activities in Hamas and the vast knowledge he acquired in this framework led to a unique investigation that revealed to the GSS a great deal of intelligence about the Hamas organization,” the agency said.

The Southern District Attorney’s Office filed an indictment Thursday in the Beersheba District Court alleging that Hussein had committed serious security offenses.

In a separate incident, a senior Hamas commander defected to Israel last month and was picked up by an Israel Navy boat.

Despite previous denials, Hamas eventually admitted that one of its officers had defected and at the same time carried out a string of arrests of other Hamas military members out of fear others had been turning against the Iran-backed terror group.