The Palestinian Safa news agency, citing a report published by Israel’s Channel 20, reported that Hebrew-language messages from an unknown source had reached soldiers from several combat brigades in the Israeli army, and they were strongly believed to have been sent by the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement.
“We can reach you and launch missiles at the area where you live in the next battle. The [Israeli] army has abandoned you, so why should you die? You have your whole life ahead of you. Do not seek adventurism, or else death is your destiny,” the messages read.
The messages then recounted the fate of Israeli soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who were captured by Palestinian resistance fighters after entering the Gaza Strip back in August 2014.
“Remember the fate of Shaul, Hadar and others. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will do so then?! To get a lot of money and assure your and your family’s safety, contact us. Do not worry! We maintain a high level of confidentiality,” they also read.
According to the report, authorities in the Israeli army were informed, and Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet, was investigating the matter. The Israeli military has asked the troopers not to respond to the message, and to delete the number from which the message was sent.
Back in July 2019, Israeli media reported that Hamas had been trying to obtain intelligence from Israeli troops stationed along the fence between the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied territories using online messaging applications.
The Yedioth Aharonoth newspaper reported at the time that Hamas’ cyber operatives, posing as fellow soldiers, had contacted Israeli troops via WhatsApp and asked for intelligence, including on troop movements.