At the end of October 2012, a round of escalation from the Gaza Strip again exposed the double identities of Hamas military-terrorist operative.

Issued on: 08/11/2012 Type: Article

Ismail al-Teli, senior artillery operative in Hamas' military-terrorist wing, killed by the IDF on October 23, 2012, prepares a rocket fire for firing. According to a statement from the Hamas ministry of the interior, Ismail al-Teli was also a policeman in the Hamas police force (Hamas forum, October 28, 2012).
Ismail al-Teli, senior artillery operative in Hamas' military-terrorist wing, killed by the IDF on October 23, 2012, prepares a rocket fire for firing. According to a statement from the Hamas ministry of the interior, Ismail al-Teli was also a policeman in the Hamas police force (Hamas forum, October 28, 2012).

Overview

1. On October 23, 2012, in response to massive barrages of rocket and mortar shell fire, Israeli aircraft struck a number of terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. Among them were terrorist squads in the region of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip preparing to fire rockets. Four Palestinian terrorist operatives were killed in the strikes, three of the from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing. Among those killed were Yousef Abu Jalhoum (aka Abu Musa'b) from Beit Lahia, and Ismail Fathi al-Teli from Jabalia (Filastin al-'Aan and the Ma'an News Agency, October 24, 2012).

2. On October 24 the Hamas administration's ministry of the interior, to which the internal security services are subordinate, issued a statement announcing the death of the two. It said that Ismail al-Teli belonged to the Hamas police force and that Abu Jalhoum worked for the Hamas Rehabilitation and Imprisonment Administration (Safa News Agency, October 24, 2012). Thus the operatives killed by the IDF two had double identities, they were Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades terrorist operatives on the one hand and employees of the Hamas security services on the other.

3. Many terrorist operatives routinely have double identities, that is, they belong to both Hamas' military wing and its governmental security services (police, ministry of the interior, various security apparatuses), which are revealed when terrorist operatives die in Israeli strikes. For example, on November 14, 2011, the Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas coastguard police post in the northern part of Gaza City in response to rocket fire into Israeli territory the previous day. The Palestinian media reported that target was a coastguard post and that the victims were men with "military" duties who were not connected to the naval police. The strike killed Muhammad Zaher al-Kilani, a naval policeman, and wounded four (Wafa News Agency, November 14, 2011).[1]

4. During Operation Cast Lead the extent of the double roles of Hamas operatives was fully exposed. One of the failures of the Goldstone Report was its utter disregard for the double identities of the Hamas police operatives and members of its other security services who died in IDF attacks. The Report claimed that Hamas' police and other security forces (with the exception of the national security apparatus) were civilian in nature, ignoring the fact that operatives who were killed also belonged to Hamas' military-terrorist wing. Thus the Report claimed that the 248 police killed during Operation Cast Lead should be regarded as civilians in every respect.[2] That was part of the foundation for the Report's theme (which Judge Goldstone later "reconsidered") that Israel had deliberately attacked the civilian population of the Gaza Strip and had thus committed "war crimes" against Gazan civilians.[3]

[1] For further information see the November 17, 2011 bulletin "The recent Israeli Air Force strike on a Hamas police coastguard post illustrated the dual nature of the Palestinian security force operatives, many of whom also serve in Hamas' military-terrorist wing.."

[3] On April 2, 2011, Judge Goldstone wrote a column for the Washington Post claiming that he had had "insufficient information" when he wrote the Report (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/reconsidering-the-goldstone-report-on-israel-and-war-crimes/2011/04/01/AFg111JC_story.html).

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