ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 141

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Al Jazeera journalist is also a Hamas commander, IDF says

Laptop found in Gaza base contains documents and images showing Mohamed Washah is a senior operative in terror group’s anti-tank forces and did research for air unit, military says

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Undated photo allegedly showing Al Jazeera reporter Mohamed Washah in the Gaza Strip, (IDF. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Undated photo allegedly showing Al Jazeera reporter Mohamed Washah in the Gaza Strip, (IDF. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

A Palestinian journalist working for Al Jazeera appears to also be a commander in Hamas’s military wing, according to images and documents recovered by the IDF in the Gaza Strip during the ongoing war against the terror Palestinian terror group.

“In the morning, he’s a journalist on the Al Jazeera channel, and in the evening, a terrorist in Hamas!” wrote Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee, the IDF’s Arabic-language spokesman, in a Sunday post to social media platform X.

Adraee said that several weeks ago, troops found a laptop in a Hamas base in northern Gaza that belonged to a man by the name of Mohamed Washah.

Washah, from central Gaza’s Bureij neighborhood, has been featured in Al Jazeera broadcasts in recent months, with the Qatari-owned station calling him one of their journalists.

Adraee said that documents recovered from the laptop revealed that Washah, 37, is a “prominent commander” in Hamas’s anti-tank missile unit, and in late 2022, he began to work in research and development for the terror group’s air unit.

He said intelligence gleaned from the computer included images linking Washah to activities within Hamas.”

The post included photographs apparently showing Washah training in the use of anti-tank weapons as well as working with other weapons and a drone.

“Who knows how many details we will reveal about the presence of other terrorists in journalistic garb in the near future,” Adraee wrote.

Last month, two Al Jazeera journalists killed in an Israeli airstrike in Rafah were later accused by the IDF of being members of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups.

Hamza Wael Dahdouh, the son of Al Jazeera’s Gaza correspondent Wael Al-Dahdouh, and Mustafa Thuria, a video stringer for AFP who was also working for the Qatar-based TV outlet, were both killed in the January incident. A third journalist, Hazem Rajab, was seriously wounded, Al Jazeera said.

The IDF said the pair were traveling in a car with a terror operative who was operating a drone.

In response to a query on that incident, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit told The Times of Israel that a military aircraft “identified and struck a terrorist who operated an aircraft in a way that put IDF forces at risk.”

The Israel-Hamas war began when 3,000 Hamas-led terrorists burst through the Gaza border into southern Israel on October 7 and killed 1,200 people — most of them civilians, slaughtered amid brutal atrocities in their communities and at a music festival — and abducted 253 people to Gaza, where 134 are still held hostage. Israel, in response, vowed to dismantle the military and governance capacities of the Gaza-ruling terror group and to secure the return of the hostages.

Israel denies targeting journalists and says it makes every effort to avoid harming civilians, blaming the high death toll on the fact that Hamas fights in densely populated urban areas and embeds itself deliberately among civilians who are used as human shields. In a statement on December 16, the Israeli army said “the IDF has never, and will never, deliberately target journalists.”

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