(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)
A member of Hamas’s military wing, captured after he entered Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip, has provided Israeli investigators with a wealth of information about the terror group’s tunneling operations, the IDF said Thursday.
In a statement, the army said Ahmad Magdi Muhammad Avid, 23, from Shejaiya in the Gaza Strip, was captured on September 27 after crossing the border fence in northern Gaza. He was not armed at the time of his capture and the army did not say what his purpose was for crossing the heavily guarded border.
Avid was a member of the Hamas military wing, which he joined in 2013. He trained in the use of anti-tank weapons, military engineering operations, and sniping. He was also involved in tunnel digging in the area of Shejaiya and was a member of the Hamas border patrol forces.
During his interrogation, Avid gave up a considerable amount of information about the Hamas tunneling operation in the Gaza Strip, including attack tunnels leading into Israel and tunnels inside Gaza intended for use in battles against the IDF, the statement said.
“The investigation of Ahmad Avid once again revealed Hamas’s terror activities, using tunnels to advance terrorist activity against Israel,” the army said.
He was indicted on October 23 at the Beersheba District Court on “serious” security-related charges, the army said, though it did not specify.
On October 30, Israel blew up an attack tunnel leading into Israeli territory that was being dug by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad together with Hamas.
In total, 14 terrorists were killed, two of them from Hamas and the rest from Islamic Jihad, including two senior commanders. The bodies of five of the Islamic Jihad terrorists, who were working on the tunnel inside Israeli territory, were recovered by the IDF a few days later. The IDF said it had not intended to kill terrorists when it destroyed the tunnel. In comments after the blast, IDF officials also noted that many of the terrorists died not in the explosion, but in botched Gazan rescue attempts.
Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, has used tunnels dug under the border to launch terror attacks inside Israel. It also has prepared an extensive network of tunnels inside the coastal enclave for its fighters to use in battles against a possible incursion by the IDF, as it did during the summer 2014 war.