The Shin Bet announced on Thursday that a Hamas operative who fled the Gaza Strip to Israel revealed to the security agency that he had kept an anti-aircraft missile in his home and that the terror group had instructed him to fire it at an Israeli helicopter if one were to approach.
Izz al-Din Hussein, 24, sought to swim to the Jewish state from Gaza on June 28 amid family problems and concerns of “persecution and defamation by senior Hamas figures,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.
Upon crossing into Israeli waters, Hussein was promptly arrested by naval forces, who transferred him to the Shin Bet for questioning.
During his interrogation, investigators learned that Hussein had enlisted in Hamas’s military wing in 2013 and began working in aerial defense in 2018, during which he headed the shoulder-fired missile unit, the Shin Bet said.
בהמשך להודעת שב"כ, היום הותר לפרסום כי לפני כחודש עצרו כוחות זרוע הים חשוד שניסה לחדור בשחייה מרצועת עזה לשטחה הימי של ישראל. מערך השליטה הימי איתר את החשוד והכווין אליו את לוחמי פלגה 916 ולוחמי יחידת סנפיר של זרוע הים pic.twitter.com/fWAGHyrEp5
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) July 30, 2020
“He kept an anti-aircraft missile in his home and had been instructed to launch it at an Israeli helicopter if one were to fly nearby in order to kill or abduct Israeli soldiers,” the statement said.
As part of his operations in Hamas, Hussein participated in various military activities against the State of Israel, the Shin Bet claimed, saying the young operative had learned about Israeli Air Force aircraft along with observation tactics to spot the movements of Israeli planes over Gaza, according to the Shin Bet.
“Hussein’s activities in Hamas and the vast knowledge he acquired through his work… revealed to the Shin Bet a great deal of intelligence about Hamas,” the statement said.
Upon the conclusion of the Shin Bet’s investigation on Thursday, an indictment was filed against Hussein in the Beesheba District Court on various security-related charges.