Israeli officer: ‘We are struggling with Hamas to recruit spies’ 

An Israeli officer claimed that “Hamas and Israel are engaged in a war over the recruitment spies. This has prompted a crackdown by Hamas on those who collaborate with Israeli intelligence. During the recent round of violence, Israel revealed that it has important sources of information inside the Gaza Strip. However, this secret war peaked in November 2018, when Hamas discovered a special Israeli intelligence force in the city of Khan Yunis.”

According to an article by Yoni Ben Menachem, published on the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs’ website, during the recent violence Israel targeted sensitive Palestinian sites. This raised Hamas’s concern about the increased risk of agents working for Israeli intelligence. This is because as much of the field information came from collaborators inside Gaza who work for the Israel Security Agency (ISA).

Ben Menachem said that even though Palestinian spies face severe punishments, Israeli intelligence continues to recruit agents from inside the Gaza Strip. Hamas has sought to discourage spies, especially in Ramadan.

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Ben Menachem, a former officer in the Directorate of Military Intelligence (Aman), revealed that “Israeli intelligence infiltrates the Palestinian society using cutting edge methods to the extent that some spies were unaware that they worked for Israel.”

He pointed out that some of these spies are active on social media platforms, research websites, or work as traders. Thus, some are being integrated with media establishments, news websites, research institutes, humanitarian institutions, and international organisations so that recruitment is run through a third party.

Ben Menachem, the Arab affairs commentator for several Israeli media outlets, explained that unlike the old recruitment methods, this new method was easy to detect by Hamas’s security services. Therefore, Israel has recently started to recruit its agents through a third party.