Hamas has captured a dolphin that it believes was working for Israeli spy agency Mossad, it has been claimed.
According to reports the dolphin was captured several weeks ago, and was said to have been equipped with “spying equipment” including cameras.
A Hamas source’s claims were publicised by Israel’s Army Radio which made clear that while Israel has a fleet of Dolphin class submarines, Hamas was specifically referring to capturing the mammal.
Hamas said the dolphin was picked up by Hamas’ military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassan Brigades. The animal’s fate is not known.
The Palestinian newspaper Al Quds reported that the commandos became wary when they spotted the dolphin making “suspicious movements” just outside the port of Gaza.
It claimed that Hamas suspects the dolphin was used to film the training of naval commandos, and said the dolphin was fitted with a type of dart gun.
Claims that Israel is using animals for espionage purposes are not new – in 2012 an eagle with an Israeli tag was captured in Sudan with locals claiming it was a Mossad spy.
In 2010 Egypt said several Israel-controlled sharks may have been involved in attacks on tourists in the Red Sea.
And twice in recent years Turkish media have highlighted birds tagged with Israeli university tracking devices as being on potential espionage missions.
It is the first time that dolphins – known as one of the world’s most intelligent animals – have been accused of being in the employ of Mossad.