Information Date: August 10, 2013
Event Date: August 9, 2013
Information Item: Senior Hamas Commander killed in Sinai Peninsula?
Information Platform: Arab Media
Source Reliability: Unknown
Spring Reliability: Unknown
Information Validity: Not confirmed
Relevant information: On August 9, 2013 a group of Jihadist militants were killed in an air raid in the area of Al-Arish in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula. Apparently the group was finalizing preparations to launch rocket attacks probably targeting Israeli territory. Reports on Arab media platforms – though denied by formal Egyptian spokespersons – argue that the air raid was carried out by an Israeli drone and was coordinated with the Egyptian army who is engaged these very days in a massive military campaign against Jihadist groups in the center and northern part of the Sinai Peninsula.
The exact circumstances of the air raid and the identity of the factors involved in the attack are not the only thing which is unclear; the number of fatalities caused by the attack is unclear as well. A Jihadist group named Jama’at Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis announced that four of its members were killed in the air raid. However, reports argue that five people were killed in the attack. According to some sources, the fifth person was killed while driving a motorcycle. One unknown source, argues that the fifth person killed was a senior Hamas militant named Iman Nofel.
Iman Nofel, a senior Hamas military Commander in the Gaza Strip, was arrested by the Egyptian authorities in 2008 for his part in demolishing the border fence between Gaza and Egypt. In January 2011, Nofel together with other militants, escaped from jail back into the Gaza Strip following a bold military operation conducted by Jihadist groups. Nofel’s troubled relations with the Egyptians did not end there. In August 2012 an Egyptian military post located in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula near the Gaza Strip on the Israeli-Egyptian border was attacked, and sixteen Egyptian border patrol members were killed. Accumulating information indicates that the attack was conducted by Jihadist groups with the practical support and participation of Jihadist militants from the Gaza Strip, some of them associated with Hamas. (On that matter read my article “The Sinai Peninsula: A Growing Strategic Threat“, August 2012) Egypt claims that Nofel was involved in the incident – yet he denied the accusation.
The Assessment: Thus far the information regarding the killing of Iman Nofel is unconfirmed. As of now no other information on that matter has been uncovered. Reviewing Hamas’ different web sites as well as other possible relevant sources of information resulted in no information on that matter.
End Intelligence Bulletin