A Palestinian killed on the border with Israel was a Hamas intelligence officer – not a journalist, as previously claimed.
The Palestinian journalist killed on Friday on the border with Israel was in fact a Hamas intelligence officer, Israel’s Walla News reported Tuesday.
Yasser Murtaja, 30, died from a gunshot wound he sustained while on the Gaza border on Friday. The international media claimed he was a journalist who was shot while filming a news clip.
Quoting an Israeli military official, the report confirms that Murtaja was a member of the Hamas terror organization and served with the rank of Nakib, captain, in its internal security service.
The Israeli sources said that their intelligence indicates that Murtaja acted on a daily basis to serve Hamas’ apparatus.
Intelligence also indicates that in 2015, Murtaja attempted to smuggle a drone into Gaza for the purpose of collecting information prior to Hamas operations.
Murtaja was recently very active and had many connections with Hamas military officials who attended his funeral and mourner’s tent, the Israeli military source said.
Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman said that Murtaja was flying a drone over IDF forces, and by doing so was posing a threat.
Speaking to Israel Radio on Sunday, Liberman said, “There are no innocent people in the Gaza Strip [border area]. There are no protesters there. Hamas has [in the past] used both journalists and ambulances to carry out terror attacks dozens of times. Whoever flies a drone over IDF forces – we will not take a chance. We warned everyone in advance. We issued warnings in Arabic, Hebrew and English. Whoever endangers his life does so knowingly.”
The IDF said it fired only at “instigators” involved in attacks on soldiers and was investigating Murtaja’s death.
“The IDF uses means such as warnings, riot dispersal means, and as a last resort firing live rounds in a precise, measured way,” it said Saturday. “The IDF does not intentionally target journalists. The circumstances in which journalists were allegedly hit by IDF fire are not familiar to the IDF, and are being looked into.”
Israel has pointed out that Hamas is exploiting the mass marches on its southern border as a cover for attacking the border fence, and has vowed to prevent a breach at all costs. The IDF said that on Friday protesters hurled several explosive devices and firebombs, using the thick plumes of smoke from burning tires as cover, and that several attempts to cross the fence were thwarted.
The majority of those killed in the border clashes were terrorists, Israel has proved.