Updated February 15th, 2024 at 12:28 IST

Journalist Injured in Rafah Airstrikes was Hamas Commander: Israel

As the ongoing Israel-Hamas war continues to escalate, the Israel Defence Force alleged that the journalist injured in Rafah airstrikes was a Hamas commander.

Reported by: Digital Desk
IDF claims journalist Ismail Abu Omar is a Hamas commander | Image:X - @AvichayAdraee
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Gaza – As the ongoing Israel-Hamas war continues to escalate, the Israel Defence Force alleged that the Al Jazeera reporter who was wounded in an Israeli airstrike near southern Gaza’s Rafah on Tuesday was also a Hamas commander. In a statement released on Tuesday, Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee the IDF’s Arabic-language spokesman said that the Abu Omar in addition to working for the Qatari-owned news outlet served as the deputy company commander in Hamas’s East Khan Younis Battalion, The Time of Israel reported. 

In the statement, the Israeli military noted that on the morning of October 7, Abu Omar infiltrated into Israel and filmed from inside Kibbutz Nir Oz, while the Gaza-based terrorist was conducting a full-scale massacre in Southern Israel. Other than Omar, Al Jazeera cameraman Ahmad Matar was also wounded in the attack. The confirmation came days after the Israeli military alleged that another Palestinian journalist was a Hamas commander. 

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IDF accuses other journalists from the news outlet of being part of the terror group 

On February 12, IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee accused another Palestinian journalist working for Al Jazeera of being a commander in Hamas' military wing. “In the morning, he’s a journalist on the Al Jazeera channel, and in the evening, a terrorist in Hamas!” Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee wrote on X, formally known as Twitter. In the statement, the IDF spokesperson stated that several weeks the Israeli troops found a laptop in a Hamas base in northern Gaza that belonged to a man by the name of Mohamed Washah. Adaree noted that the documents recovered from the laptop revealed that the 37-year-old is a "prominent commander” of Hamas’s anti-tank missile unit. The IDF also alleged that in late 2022, Washah began to work in research and development for the terror group's air unit. The post also included photographs apparently showing Washah training in the use of anti-tank weapons as well as working with other weapons and a drone. “Who knows how many details we will reveal about the presence of other terrorists in journalistic garb in the near future,” the IDF spokesperson furthered. 

Last month, the Israeli military claimed that two Israeli journalists killed in an Israeli airstrike in Rafah were members of Hamas. The IDF stated that the pair were travelling in a car with a militant who was operating a drone in the region. Shortly after the news stirred headlines, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit told The Times of Israel that a military aircraft “identified and struck a terrorist who operated an aircraft in a way that put IDF forces at risk.”

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Published February 15th, 2024 at 12:28 IST