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Israeli Intelligence Mistakes Egyptian Journalist for Hamas Leader

May 26, 2024
Image Credit: Mohamed Shabana/Facebook

Israel’s recent attempt to eliminate Mohamed Shabana, a Hamas commander of the Rafah brigade, was marred by a significant error when its security agency mistakenly used a photograph of prominent Egyptian sports journalist Mohamed Shabana on their hit-list instead.

The Israeli Security Agency (Shabak) created and distributed a poster featuring several Hamas members with their names and faces. The poster, which is designed to look like a deck of cards with each member as a card, was aimed at informing IDF soldiers about prominent targets.

Shabana, who is also a former member of the Egyptian Parliament, now intends to sue Israel for libel and defamation.

The mix-up, initially spotted by Egyptian media on 24 May, garnered widespread ridicule in Arab media and on social media – including Shabana himself.

During a live interview with talk show host Amr Adib, Shabana criticised Shabak’s lack of professionalism and attentiveness.

“I first thought it was a joke or prank because you would assume a security agency would certainly not confuse you, but they could not even conduct a standard Google search,” Shabana told Adib.

The sports journalist also noted that while he found the situation absurd and handled it with humour, he is considering legal action against Israel, including a lawsuit seeking compensation to support Palestinian causes.

Adib joined in the ridicule, joking that Shabana could sue for a million shekels.

“I was not surprised either way, since [Israel] are known for spinning false news and spreading lies…but now they’re becoming obvious to everyone,” Shabana added.

The status of the namesake Hamas commander remains uncertain according to Israeli media, although there is no conclusive evidence that he has been assassinated.

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