It began as a covert intelligence operation, one of many conducted by Israel in the hostile and densely populated Gaza Strip. Most of these operations occur without incident but on Sunday, we were reminded that these covert activities are not without extreme risk.
An undercover force reportedly from the elite Sayeret Maglan unit entered the Strip in civilian clothing using a nondescript vehicle. While in the Gazan city of Khan Yunis, the vehicle drew the suspicions of Hamas operatives who were in the vicinity. As the terrorists closed in, the Maglan boys opened fire on the AK-47 toting gangsters instantly sparking a ferocious firefight.
Three of the terrorists were shot dead during the initial exchange. The Israeli vehicle then frantically made its way through narrow streets of Khan Yunis toward the safety of Israel all while Hamas vehicles were giving chase. The Israelis called in for air support. Drones hovering above fired at the pursuing vehicles, destroying them, and killing an additional four more terrorists.
When it was over, seven terrorists, including a senior Hamas commander and one Israeli soldier were dead. The senior terrorist commander was identified as Nour Baraka, who oversaw terror tunnel operations. The deceased Israeli was a Lt. Colonel and a member of Israel’s Druse minority sect. His name has not been released to the public and he has only been identified as Lt. Col. “M.”