השב”כ הדיע אתמול על “מעצר פעיל חמאס שחצה את גדר המערכת מעזה לישראל”. ההודעה רק “שכחה” לספר שזהו משת”פ שסיפק למפעיליו מידע על המנהרה שנחפרה בגבול הרצועה
The Shabak website notes the “arrest” of a Hamas operative who trained in its military wing who crossed over the border into Israel. The intelligence agency’s report notes that Ahmed Magdi Muhammed Abid trained as an engineer. This would likely indicate he was deeply involved in the tunneling operation that offers Gaza militants their primary means of protecting the enclave in the face of Israeli attack.
The Shabak report is misleading. No Gazan simply escapes across the border, unless someone inside Israel wants him to. And the domestic spy agency facilitated his escape because, in fact, he was the double agent who revealed to the Israelis the location of a top-secret tunnel being built towards Israeli territory. After he spilled the beans, Israel bombed the tunnel while a senior Islamic Jihad commander was inside it. He along with eleven others were killed in the ensuing collapse. Two of the dead were Hamas fighters attempting to rescue the IJ forces who’d become trapped in the tunnel after Israel destroyed it.
The deaths caused a huge eruption inside Gaza and escalated tensions. Had there not been a serious effort at Palestinian reconciliation going on at the same time, it’s quite likely Gaza’s militant groups would’ve begun a campaign of retaliation that could’ve easily plunged the region into another war.
Now it can be told, thanks to an Israeli confidential source, that Abid was indeed recruited by Shabak. He was coaxed to betray his comrades and expose the tunnel. And then he was spirited out the enclave by the Israelis to safety in Israel. He was not arrested by Israel. Or if he was it’s a sham. Nor was he debriefed after his arrest as this article implies. Though the article claims there are “serious” security charges against him pending in Beersheva district court, I doubt any action will be taken on them. If Abid ends up in an Israeli prison his life will be measured in days, as his fellow Palestinian prisoners will make short order of him.
My Israeli source semi-jokingly responded to my questions about this:
“We have Palestinian snitches in the prisons and the detention centers. They are smart, so in some cases they manage to escape after finishing their jobs. In the other cases, their smart lawyers manage to convince the judiciary to release them.”
Israel falsely told the Israeli public and world media that advanced sonic technology exposed the existence of the tunnel. Instead, it was plain old-fashioned human intelligence that did so.
Often in the past, the Israelis recruited a Palestinian spy, used him and tossed him aside. Leaving him to his fate often resulted in his being exposed and captured and executed for his betrayal. It’s an especially brutal part of the Israeli spy game. At least in this case their source, who facilitated the deaths of nine of his Palestinian comrades, wasn’t left to rot inside Gaza.