Hamas’ Naval Forces commander, Mohammed Omar Abu Ajwa, has fled to Isreal, the al-Arabiya TV and other Arab outlets reported on July 12.
According to the UAE-based news channel, Abu Ajwa and his brother fled the Gaza Strip to Israel aboard a boat. Israeli special forces allegedly facilitated the daring escape. The commander reportedly took with him “sensitive documents” related to Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
Al-Arabiya claimed that Abu Ajwa took the decision to escape upon finding out that Hamas has learned of his work for the Israeli intelligence, which began in 2009.
Several Arab sources claimed that Hamas’ Ministry of Interior announced the arrest of 16 fighters of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades after the alleged escape of Abu Ajwa. The fighters were also suspected of spying for Israel.
Hamas, however, denied making any arrests and stressed that its interior ministry didn’t release any official statement on such issue.
“[These are] rumors that serve the aims of the occupation in destabilizing the internal front of the Gaza Strip,” RT quoted Hazem Qassim, a spokesman for the Palestinian group, as saying.
The reports on Abu Ajwa’s escape are yet to be coonfirmed. The upcoming few days will likely reveal more information on this issue.
Israeli intelligence agencies are known to be highly-active inside the Gaza Strip. In 2018, an Israeli special forces unit was exposed while it was carrying out an operation in Gaza. Back then, a member of the unit and seven Palestinian fighters were killed in clashes.