On Tuesday, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said that Hamas, the Islamist organization which governs the Gaza Strip, had built fake Facebook profiles where they pretended to be attractive young Israelis.
In a statement published on the IDF website, a senior intelligence officer said that the army had been receiving dozens of reports from soldiers about suspicious social media profiles and apps since January.
Hamas operatives, Israel claims, built fake Facebook profiles or use stolen identities to pretend to be young women. Then, they would move the new relationship over to WhatsApp messenger to woo the soldiers into downloading fake apps.
Following reports of suspicious young ladies flirting with IDF personnel, the military launched an operation codenamed Broken Heart and found out that the sham apps were available on the Google Play store. They have already been downloaded by 100 soldiers.
The first two bogus apps were called Glancelove and Winkchat. The third one, Golden Cup, was promoted as a live score aid which was filled with information about the ongoing World Cup Russia.
Once downloaded, the apps would allow Hamas militants to see the owner's location and contact list, and to turn the cellphone into a recording device.
The IDF officer stated that, "thanks to the soldiers' awareness, alertness, and willingness to report the incidents, Israel's security was not damaged."
Hamas has yet to comment on the Israeli statement.
Hamas is an Islamist political and militant group which has ruled the Gaza strip since 2007. It stands for the creation of an independent Palestinian state and doesn't recognize the state of Israel. This spring, the group led mass rallies known as the Match of Return, claiming the Palestinians' "right for the return to the abandoned territories," land that was claimed by the State of Israel upon its proclamation in May, 1948.