Israeli police confirmed Tuesday they had arrested two Gazans, one a Hamas militant, found hiding in southern Israel after infiltrating the area during the October 7 attacks.
The detentions, in early November, were first reported by Israeli media with the details confirmed to AFP by a spokesman for the border police.
He said the pair were arrested in Rahat, a town in southern Israel mostly populated by Bedouin Arabs, following an operation by an undercover border police unit. The town lies about 30 kilometres (18 miles) from the Gaza border.
Both were unarmed and found in an empty house.
One was a Hamas militant while the other was a Gaza resident. Both were taken for investigation.
On October 7, Hamas militants stormed across the Gaza border into southern Israel, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping some 240, officials say.
Since then, Israel has waged a relentless military campaign that the government in Hamas-run Gaza says has killed more than 13,300 people, two-thirds of them women and children.
In a separate statement, Israeli police said they had found an anti-helicopter missile and other weapons which had been “taken from combat zones”, referring to areas of southern Israel where Hamas militants were active on October 7.
Police and explosives experts have been trying “to locate weapons and explosive devices that were left in different areas of fighting by Hamas militants and taken by civilians”, the statement said.
Following specific intelligence, they found weapons “including an anti-helicopter missile launcher, a Kalashnikov rifle, cartridges and ammo” in the Eshkol region that flanks the Gaza border.
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