November 22, 2018 / 4:30 PM / 7 months ago

Hamas publishes photos of raid 'fugitives'; Israeli censor warns media

GAZA (Reuters) - Hamas published photos on Thursday of six men and two women who it said were involved in a botched Israeli undercover raid into the Gaza Strip this month and appealed for details about them.

Israel’s military censor, without commenting on the credibility of Hamas’s information, urged the media not to disseminate any details about the Nov. 11 incident in which an Israeli colonel, a Hamas commander and six other Palestinian militants were killed.

Israel has not released the name of the dead Israeli officer, citing security considerations, and has not commented on the purpose of the undercover mission that Hamas said it interrupted when its men challenged a civilian vehicle.

The incident led to a two-day flare-up of rocket attacks from Gaza and Israeli air strikes.

A photo array of what Hamas described as “fugitives” appeared without names on the website of its armed wing, the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades. The two women pictured were wearing traditional Muslim head scarves.

The website listed phone numbers for people to call or text with any information about the suspects.

Israel’s military censor said Hamas was trying to decipher and understand “the event that took place deep in Gaza” and urged the Israeli media not to disseminate pictures or “personal identifying details” gleaned from the media or the internet.

“Every piece of information, even if it is considered harmless by those publishing it, is liable to endanger human lives and cause harm to the country’s security,” it said.

Israeli law mandates that local and foreign media submit stories dealing with national security or the military to the censor before publication. In reality, reports on routine military activity are rarely submitted, and the censor is largely powerless to block social media posts.

Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi and Ori Lewis; Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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