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Back in November Israel was on the verge of war with Hamas, which saw hundreds of rockets land in Southern Israel.

It is widely believed that it was set off by a failed undercover Israeli mission, in which IDF Lt. Col. M. and senior Hamas offical Nur al-Din Barakeh were killed.

At the time of the incident the military wing of Hamas announced that “a special unit of the Israeli army entered the Gaza Strip, at a depth of about 3 km, by means of a civilian vehicle in the area of the mosque of Ismail Abu Shanab, east of Khan Yunis. The force killed the commander of the military wing of Hamas, Nur Barakeh. After the force was exposed and our fighters took off, the IAF planes entered the area and began to bomb to cover up the withdrawal of the force, which led to the deaths of our people. The event continues and our forces are acting against the dangerous Zionist aggression.”

Haaretz has reported further details based on unnamed Qatari news site, which in turned cited an anonymous Hamas source.

The undercover Israeli forces, who participated in a failed raid in November 2018, were detained and questioned by Hamas. The group of Israeli undercover agents were travelling in a van, posing as members of welfare association, Al-Basma Club for the Disabled and using fake IDs.

According to the report, after questioning the agents at the checkpoint in the southern part of the Gaza strip, Hamas’ senior officer Nur al-Din Barakeh, suspected they were imposters and ordered to escort them to a command post, forcing the Israelis to break cover and shoot their way back. Barakeh and his deputy as well as a senior Israeli officer were killed in the subsequent gunfire exchange.

According to one report by The Independent, the agents’ cover was blown due to their accents, but the report by the Qatari media outlet suggests it was due to “problems” with one of the passengers in the van allegedly due to violation of “customary activity in Palestinian culture”.

The group retreated to an agricultural area east of Khan Younis using the van they were travelling in, and were extracted by a military helicopter.

Neither the IDF, nor Palestinian officials have commented on the report.

Contributed by Sputnik News