Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency on Monday revealed that operatives from the Gaza Strip attempted to contact Israelis through fake “catfish” social media accounts.
According to the Shin Bet, the fictitious profiles impersonated “authentic, Israeli women.” However, these accounts were actually run by operatives from the Gaza Strip.
The Shin Bet explained that the operatives used photos of Israeli women to “lure Israeli citizens into contact with the aim of harming them.” It did not specify if any Israelis were contacted and did not name the group behind the operation.
Profiles pretending to be Israeli fitness trainers were found on both Facebook and Instagram under the names “Maria David” and “Maria Shimon.”
Following the disclosure, the Shin Bet involved the cyber department of the State Attorney’s Office, which is responsible for handling illegal content on social networks. The profiles were then removed.