According to a number of Israeli media reports, the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has detained a dolphin it claims was equipped with “spying” devices by the Israeli military.
The reports cite the Palestinian daily al-Quds, which quotes sources in the Gaza Strip claiming that Hamas commandos had noticed and later captured a “suspicious” dolphin. They found, according to the Jersualem Post, a camera attached to the dolphin, in addition to a weapon that could fire small arrows.
The claim has yet to be substantiated by Israeli authorities. The country has a fleet of Dolphin-class submarines, but the news reports made clear that the sources in Gaza were specifically referring to a marine mammal.
The fear of special agent dolphins, while amusing, is not without basis. The U.S. Navy, for example, maintains a detachment of dolphins and sea lions trained for reconnaissance. After Russia unilaterally annexed Crimea last year from Ukraine, authorities in Kiev demanded the return of combat dolphins that had been trained and quartered on the coast of the Black Sea peninsula.
And Israel, as Haaretz notes, has frequently been accused of using animals to carry out nefarious missions abroad:
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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Ishaan Tharoor