US/World News

Reports: Senior Hamas official defects to Israel

(JTA) — A senior Hamas officer from Gaza reportedly has defected to Israel. Bassam Mahmoud Baraka, who is believed to have extensive knowledge of Hamas’ underground tunnel networks, has been missing for several days and may have fled to Israel, Haaretz reported Tuesday, June 14, citing several Palestinian media outlets. Baraka, the son of a Muslim religious judge affiliated with Hamas, is believed to have given himself up to Israeli soldiers waiting for him at the border, the Palestinian reports said. Fatah websites said the Red Cross informed Baraka’s family that he was in Israeli custody.

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