In 2014, a captured Hamas cell commander claimed he was sent for paragliding training in Malaysia.
Over the weekend, news broke that Hamas infiltrated Israeli towns via land, sea, and air a day after the 50th anniversary of the start of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
What caught particular attention were the motor-powered hang gliders used by the Al Qassam Brigades to get into an Israeli settlement and successfully bypass Israeli air defences.
The motorised hang gliders consist of a seat, motor, and parafoil. The aircraft in the videos showed that it could seat a maximum of two adults.
Seeing the troops land the DIY-like hang gliders on Israeli land harks back to the time when Hamas allegedly voiced plans to train their armies how to parachute and infiltrate enemy lines.
Years ago, there were allegations that Hamas sent their people to Malaysia for training, using “powered parachutes”. The plan was to utilise this skill to kidnap and murder Israeli civilians.
In 2014, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) captured a Hamas cell commander in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza. He told the Israel Security Agency (ISA), also known as the Shin Bet Security Service, that he was sent by Hamas leadership to Malaysia for paragliding training.
The cell commander and ten other Hamas members allegedly spent a week receiving training in Malaysia.
Upon returning to Gaza, the group was allegedly given additional weapons training and warned to maintain secrecy, including not revealing details of their training in Malaysia.
At the time, then Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar denied that Malaysia provided training to Hamas members.
He said the claims were a malicious intent to tarnish Malaysia’s image in the eyes of the world.
The Home Ministry has never conducted clandestine training for Hamas fighters. We have training programmes with countries that have formal agreements with us.Former Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar
Since then, there have been no reports of Hamas attacking using powered paragliders for years until last weekend in the attack termed the Al Aqsa Flood operation.