‘Killer Zionist dolphins’ claim gets attention in Israel

Hamas released a video claiming its ‘frogman unit’ had nabbed the aquatic assassin

Palestinian militant group Hamas has claimed to have apprehended a Mossad-trained ‘killer dolphin’ spy wearing specialized combat gear that allegedly attacked one of its naval combat units off the Gaza coast.

A video posted by the armed outfit to announce the apparent capture was widely shared on social media on Tuesday. During the 25-second clip, a spokesperson from the Al-Qassam brigades, identified as Abu Hamza, said its ‘frogman unit’ had discovered and trapped the aquatic assassin during an operation.

A number of media outlets have cited a report by Al-Quds newspaper, which apparently noted that the dolphin was armed with a “device” capable of killing Hamas operatives it allegedly chased into the sea. The video included footage of a conical, harness-like contraption, supposedly taken from the captured spy.

Tweeting about the “killer Zionist dolphins,” Joe Truzman, an analyst at the US-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies lobby group, noted that Abu Hamza revealed the animal had been found by a member of the frogman unit “who was killed by Israel during the May conflict.”

Killer Zionist dolphins exist, according to a Hamas publication. Abu Hamza explains that a member of Hamas’ Frogman unit who was killed by Israel during the May conflict found the killer dolphin. The device the alleged killer dolphin was wearing is shown in the publication. pic.twitter.com/gvAyynO3YT

— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) January 10, 2022

On Wednesday, Israel’s official Twitter account managed by its Foreign Ministry’s ‘Digital Diplomacy Team’ appeared to poke fun at the reports by posting a series of dolphin emojis, though there was no clarification that the post was in response to the allegations.

🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬🐬

— Israel ישראל (@Israel) January 12, 2022

While several social media users appeared to dismiss Hamas’ claims, some – like US Naval Institute news analyst H.I. Sutton – suggested that the report had “some credibility” in that it is “plausible that Israel may have a Navy marine mammal program.”

In a blog post, Sutton said the harness “appears to fit the nose of a dolphin” and is “similar” to those used by such programs in other countries. He added that it appeared to have a “spear gun-like device attached” that could either be a way to “mark the target” or a “straightforward weapon.”

However, he cautioned that there was “no evidence that confirms that the harness is Israeli, or even off a dolphin.”

This is not the first time Hamas has alleged Israel’s use of trained dolphins. In August 2015, the BBC cited an Al-Quds report that claimed another captured dolphin had been “stripped of its will” and turned into “a murderer” by Israeli forces.

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