Hamas released photos of alleged members of an Israeli unit that infiltrated Gaza on November 11 [Qassam Brigades website]
Qassam Brigades

The armed wing of the Hamas group has published photos of what it says are members of an Israeli covert operations unit that infiltrated the Gaza Strip on November 11.

The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades posted pictures eight alleged members of the Israeli force, including two women, on its official website, as well as pictures of two vehicles used by the force during the botched operation.

In a statement, the group called on Palestinians to communicate to them any information they might have regarding the persons but provided no further details on the identities of those pictured.

Israel’s army censor issued a statement shortly afterwards calling on the public and news media not to distribute the photos or information relating to them.

“Hamas is attempting to understand and analyse the incident that occurred in Gaza on November 11 and any information, even if it seems harmless by those who distribute it, can endanger lives and put state security at risk,” the army statement said.

Ceasefire reached

The botched operation resulted in the deadliest escalation since the 2014 war on the coastal enclave.

Seven Palestinians, including Nour Baraka, a senior commander of the Qassam Brigades, were killed during the same evening of the undercover Israeli raid, as Israeli forces pounded the Khan Younis area with air attacks to give the unit cover to escape back into Israel using a civilian car.

One Israeli soldier was also killed during the operation, the army said.

The following day, Palestinian factions fired hundreds of missiles into southern Israel, which was described as an act of “unprecedented intensity”.

By Tuesday, November 13, seven more Palestinians were killed by Israeli air strikes, which had targeted a number of residential and government-owned buildings such as the offices of the al-Aqsa television channel.

The latest round of fighting which had raised fears of a fourth Israeli offensive on the strip since 2008 ended on the same day after Egypt brokered a ceasefire. Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Defence Minister, resigned in protest, which Hamas viewed as a “political victory for Gaza”.

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