An Iranian media outlet said Wednesday evening that the dolphin Hamas claimed to have caught spying for Israel was actually a “robot.”
While most media outlets quoted Hamas earlier Wednesday as asserting it had captured the aquatic mammal, one of nature’s most intelligent animals, and implausibly asserting that it was equipped with cameras and was engaged in espionage, the regime-linked Fars news agency quoted “media reports” ostensibly claiming that “the divers of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement have seized a Israeli-made robot dolphin equipped with espionage equipment, including video-recording cameras.”
Fars added of its robotic version: “The spy dolphin was also equipped with small arrows and bullets to enable it to target humans, including Hamas special forces.”
The dolphin was purportedly captured off the Gaza coast several weeks ago by the naval unit of the Hamas military wing.
The Israeli Navy maintains a fleet of Dolphin class submarines. But media reports made clear that Hamas was talking about a mammal, not a boat — or a robot.
Spying allegations against Israel involving various creatures are not uncommon in the region.
Twice in recent years, Turkish media have highlighted allegations that birds tagged with Israeli university tracking devices were on espionage missions.
In 2012, an eagle with an Israeli tag in Sudan was captured and touted as a Mossad spy.
Two years earlier, an Egyptian official said Israel-controlled sharks could be involved in a number of attacks on tourists in the Red Sea.
Wednesday’s report marked the first known allegations against dolphins.