The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has released photos of what it says are the Israeli special forces involved in last week's botched commando raid against Gaza, apparently promoting fears in the regime's military, which asked people and media not to share them.
Hamas -- which governs Israeli-blockaded Gaza -- shared the eight photos on Thursday along with an email address and two phone numbers belonging to its military wing, Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, in order to allow public to share information about the Israeli combat soldiers.
Pictures of the two cars used by the Israeli commandos were also published.
كتائب القسام تنشر صور الحافلتين اللتين استخدمتهما القوة الإسرائيلية الخاصة في قطاع #غزة والتي مُنيت بالفشل بعد تصدي الكتائب لها قبل أسبوعين— المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام (@PalinfoAr) November 22, 2018
The commando raid that took place on November 11 saw members of Israel's special forces infiltrate into the Gaza city of Khan Younis in civilian cars for an undercover operation.
Reports say the forces were with the elite Maglan unit known for slipping behind enemy lines to gather intelligence or hit targets.
They were, however, found out soon afterwards at a Palestinian security post, with the raid spiraling into a severe exchange of gunfire between the Israelis and the security forces in Gaza. Seven Palestinians lost their lives in the shootout.
🔴#BREAKING: #Hamas announced on November 11, 2018 that it has deciphered members of the #Israel|i Special Forces which involved in the assassinate of the commander of the Al-#Qassam Brigades— EHA News (@eha_news) November 22, 2018
Hamas published photographs of #Israeli agents pic.twitter.com/PtfjuLI1Bn
The intruders were forced to retreat under the cover of the Israeli military's air raids. They were evacuated back into the occupied territories by helicopter.
An Israeli lieutenant colonel was killed in Hamas' counter-raid -- which the Qassam Brigades has dubbed "Operation Edge of the Sword."
In its Thursday statement, the Qassam Brigades said they have been working to decode the details of the abortive Israeli ground incursion, and that it is currently "in the advanced phases of efforts to discover clues about the special and dangerous operation staged by the Zionist enemy."
It also assured the Palestinian nation that it will manage to find the lost pieces of the puzzle, urging people to provide Hamas with any information they may possess on those in the photographs.
The Israeli military did not comment on the authenticity of the photos, but its censor branch scrambled to issue what was described by Israeli media as "a highly irregular statement," appealing to people and media not to re-share the pictures.
“Hamas is working now to interpret and understand the event that occurred within Gaza on November 11, and every piece of information, even if it is considered by the publisher as harmless, is liable to endanger human lives and damage" the security of Israel, the censor said.
Israeli media only published a blurred version of the images released by Hamas.
The botched Israeli mission triggered the worst flare-up of violence since the regime's 2014 war on the blockaded coastal sliver.
The raid was followed by a wave of deadly Israeli airstrikes throughout the Gaza Strip, but the acts of aggression were met with a firm response from Hamas and other Gaza-based Palestinian resistance factions.
Over 400 rockets were fired from Gaza into the southern parts of the Israeli-occupied territories, causing fatalities in the city of Ashkelon.
During the confrontations, the resistance fighters also showed off their precision strike skills when they hit and destroyed an Israeli military bus.
Just as the two sides were on the verge of another war, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted an Egypt-brokered truce with resistance fighters in Gaza, setting off a political crisis that almost led to the collapse of his coalition administration.
Netanyahu's minister for military affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, who was opposed to the truce, stepped down from his post in a show of protest, leaving the prime minister with a single-seat majority in the parliament and giving rise to calls for early elections in Israel.
Netanyahu also rejected Education Minister Naftali Bennett's bid to replace Lieberman, and took over as the minister for military affairs himself. Bennett had earlier threatened that he would also resign from the cabinet if his bid was rejected, but he later backed down and saved the embattled prime minister for now.
Both the stinging blows dealt to Israel by Palestinian resistance fighters as well as the chaos in Netanyahu's cabinet prompted celebrations among people in Gaza.
The Palestinians resistance factions have called their latest achievements as a political victory. Hamas also said Lieberman's resignation was the regime's "admission of defeat" in its latest confrontations with the resistance front in Gaza.