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Al-Qassam Brigades reveal details of Israeli army bus attack

Members of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas, take part in a military parade on the third anniversary of Israel's attacks on Gaza in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 20 July 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]
Members of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas, take part in a military parade on the third anniversary of Israel's attacks on Gaza in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 20 July 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, revealed details of the attack on an Israeli army bus on the Gaza border in November last year, using an Anti-Armor Missile.

The website of Al-Qassam Brigades posted, Saturday evening, quotes of an operations commander, behind the scene details, which preceded the brigades’ decision to respond to the infiltration of an Israeli force into Khan Younis, in a bus. Thus, Hamas fighters clashed with the Israeli soldiers on the night of 11 November 2018.

Al-Qassam Brigades announced, then, the discovery of an Israeli force which managed to infiltrate into Khan Younis. The development was followed by an armed clash with the Israeli infiltrators which resulted in the death of seven of Al-Qassam fighters and an Israeli officer.

On the details of the operation, which was revealed for the first time, the operations commander said: “As soon as Al-Qassam fighters discovered the presence of the Israeli special force, east of Khan Younis, and dealt with the aggressors, Al-Qassam Brigades’ General Staff held a meeting in order to study the situation from an operational angle and agreed to respond to the crime committed by the Israeli enemy.”

He continued: “Immediately, a decision was issued by the Commander in Chief of Al-Qassam Brigades, Mohammed Deif, to respond to the violation with an equivalent attack, provided that the response is not executed employing full combat capability. Thus, the mission’s directions were determined.”

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The commander added: “Once the decision was taken, Al-Qassam Brigades’ operations room fixed the targets that were in line with the intention of the General Staff and the required levels of response, derived from the brigades’ ensemble of pre-determined targets. Then, the General Staff chose the most illegible targets and ordered the brigades’ fighting cells to carry on the operation.”

He pointed out that “the most eligible target was an army bus, situated in the area under the Northern Battalion’s jurisdiction, which could be a significantly valuable and intimidating target, i.e. carrying a deterring factor that can dismay the enemy, as it was transporting many Israeli soldiers. Al-Qassam Brigades’ General Staff decided to assume all the consequences of striking this target, regardless of the consequences.”

Regarding the execution of the operation, which took place on 12 November 2018, Sakr, a military vehicles sniper, stated: “After receiving the mission assignment, the target was in my gun range. However, I did not manage to shoot the bus immediately due to the emergence of an unexpected obstacle in the shooting range. That is to say, the bus stopped for a short while, then resumed its path a few moments later, allowing the shooting to take place.”

The sniper added: “When the appropriate tactical conditions were available, and zero-hour came, I said ‘Allahu Akbar’ and unleashed the missile, pounding its prey and hitting the target precisely by the grace of Allah. The bus caught fire. However, the occupation soldiers did not dare to come near it or appear, until we left the operation area.”

He continued: “Once we finished our mission, we started immediately and safely withdrawing from our location while hearing the explosive sounds of rockets ramming the occupation’s sites.”

On 12 November last year, the Israeli army announced that an Anti-Tank Missile was fired from Gaza, hitting a bus which carried soldiers and leading to seriously injuring an Israeli soldier.

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