ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Bedouin Israeli who joined Hamas in Gaza in 2016 arrested trying to return to Israel

Northern Negev man charged with serious security offenses including aiding the enemy in war; Shin Bet releases footage of Hamas commander calling on terrorists to surrender

This picture taken from the Israeli border with the northern Gaza Strip shows Israeli soldiers watching Gaza City from a position on January 1, 2024, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the terror group Hamas. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)
This picture taken from the Israeli border with the northern Gaza Strip shows Israeli soldiers watching Gaza City from a position on January 1, 2024, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the terror group Hamas. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)

A Bedouin Israeli who crossed into the Gaza Strip in 2016 and joined the Hamas terror group has been indicted after IDF troops detained him in December as he was trying to cross back into Israel, the Justice Ministry revealed on Friday.

Separately, the Shin Bet released footage on Thursday from the interrogation of a different Hamas detainee who called on operatives in the terror group to surrender.

According to the charge sheet, Juma Ibrahim Abu Ghanima, 26, a resident of Hashem Zana in the northern Negev, snuck into Gaza in July 2016, made contact with a Hamas operative, and asked to join the terror group’s military wing.

Abu Ghanima was taken to be questioned by Hamas officials, where he revealed to them the locations of IDF bases in southern Israel, the indictment said.

According to the indictment, after three months of waiting in the homes of Hamas operatives, Abu Ghanima began military training with Hamas, including advanced training with the terror group’s elite Nukhba force that simulated attacks on Israeli towns and the capture of army posts — years before Hamas’s October 7 massacres, which saw thousands of Hamas-led terrorists burst into Israel, killing some 1,200 people and kidnapping another 253.

During his time in Gaza, Abu Ghanima carried out various surveillance operations along the border and met with Hamas officials, the indictment said.

Israeli army humvees and vehicles move along a dirt road in the Gaza Strip near a position along the border with southern Israel on January 4, 2024. (Jack Guez/AFP)

He was also accused of accepting other tasks, including shooting attacks on the border, returning to Israel to spy for Hamas and recruit others, as well as joining a crime gang in Israel to advance the terror group’s plans.

The indictment said that, in 2021, Abu Ghanima was jailed by Hamas for two years for his “failure to comply with the limitations imposed on him.”

After Israel launched its military campaign in response to Hamas’s October 7 attacks, all of the prisoners in the jail where he was held were released on December 7, 2023, due to IDF strikes nearby.

Three days later, Abu Ghanima attempted to cross back into Israel, where he was detained by IDF troops. He was then taken to be interrogated by the Shin Bet security agency.

Abu Ghanima was charged with several serious security offenses, including conspiring to aid the enemy in its war against Israel, aiding the enemy in war, providing information to the enemy with the intention of harming the security of the state, membership in a terror organization, training for terror purposes, operating weapons for terror purposes and leaving the country illegally.

Muhammad Nasser Suleiman Abu Namer is interrogated by the Shin Bet in a photo released on February 8, 2024. (Shin Bet)

Meanwhile, the Shin Bet on Thursday released footage from the interrogation of a commander in Hamas’s elite Nukhba unit who called on operatives in the terror group to surrender.

“I advise everyone to surrender, because your fate otherwise is death,” Muhammad Nasser Suleiman Abu Namer can be heard saying.

Abu Namer was arrested by Shin Bet and IDF fighters deep in a tunnel under the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.

The suspect can later be heard saying that he was arrested with two other Hamas fighters and that they did not try to resist when the IDF busted through the door of their tunnel.

“We made a decision that we don’t want to fight and as soon as the army comes we will turn ourselves in,” Abu Namer said.

A photo released by the IDF on February 7, 2024 shows a major Hamas tunnel captured by Israeli troops in Khan Younis, southern Gaza. (IDF)

“We sat in the room, we put all the weapons outside the room… We sat and waited. When the army arrived, we raised our hands and surrendered,” he said.

The IDF says more than 1,000 terror suspects have been captured in Gaza since the beginning of the war, now in its fourth month, and many more have been questioned and released.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that 18 out of 24 Hamas battalions had been destroyed, while Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said “about half of the Hamas terrorists” had been killed or seriously wounded.

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