update deskIsrael at War

IAF fighter jets strike Hamas base inside UNRWA compound

"Hamas intentionally positioned the command and control position within the vicinity of an active UNRWA location, jeopardizing the Gazan civilians taking refuge there," the IDF said.

A Palestinian man outside an UNRWA office in Gaza City protests cuts to aid, June 20, 2023. Photo by Anas-Mohammed/Shutterstock.
A Palestinian man outside an UNRWA office in Gaza City protests cuts to aid, June 20, 2023. Photo by Anas-Mohammed/Shutterstock.

Israeli Air Force fighter jets attacked a Hamas command and control center inside a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) complex in central Gaza on Saturday, the military said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, which provided intelligence for the strike along with the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the Hamas center “served as central terrorist infrastructure” that was used as a staging ground for attacks on IDF troops in the central Strip in recent weeks.

The strike was “carefully planned and carried out using precise munition to minimize harm to uninvolved civilians,” the military emphasized.

Furthermore, the Hamas base was used to carry out attacks on efforts to increase the distribution of humanitarian aid to Gaza civilians and Hamas oversaw the supply of weapons to dozens of Hamas terrorists from inside the command and control center, including terrorists operating in underground tunnels.

“Hamas intentionally positioned the command and control position within the vicinity of an active UNRWA location, jeopardizing the Gazan civilians taking refuge there,” the IDF said.

The strikes destroyed the operational capabilities of the Hamas command and control center at the UNRWA compound.

UNRWA refuses to evacuate from Rafah

Meanwhile, UNRWA said that it will not heed Israeli calls to evacuate parts of the Rafah in southernmost Gaza ahead of a planned military offensive against the last Hamas stronghold.

Juliette Touma, communications director for UNRWA, said that the agency has not evacuated the area and has no plans to do so.

On Sunday, four soldiers were killed and 10 others were wounded when Hamas terrorists fired 14 mortar shells from the Rafah area at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom.

The attack forced the closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing, a major entry point for humanitarian aid trucks in the Gaza Strip.

The military noted that “the launches were carried out by the Hamas terrorist organization near the Rafah Crossing, around 350 meters from civilian shelters. This is another clear example of the systematic exploitation by Hamas of humanitarian facilities and areas for terrorist purposes, while using the civilian population as a human shield.”

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