The 401st Brigade combat team found a large number of weapons in numerous bedrooms and under children’s beds in a building linked to a senior Hamas operative on the outskirts of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, the IDF said on Thursday.
The military also discovered four tunnel shafts in Jabalia of significant depth from which heavy mortar fire was directed towards Israel. The shafts connected to a central tunnel located in a building linked to another senior Hamas operative.
Operational plans and numerous weapons were discovered as well. All materials were transferred to the Document and Technical Collection Unit of the Military Intelligence Directorate for further examination and distribution to combat forces.
“We reached the heart of the Hamas infrastructure and found the operational home of a senior terrorist, which included weapons and ammunition, all hidden under his children’s beds and in closets,” 401st Brigade commanding officer Col. Binyamin Aharon said.
Hamas frequently places its weapons and infrastructure among the civilian population, which it uses as human shields, knowing Israel will be hesitant to harm noncombatants.
On Nov. 5, for instance, the IDF shared video evidence of Hamas rocket launchers placed next to a children’s swimming pool and a playground in the northern Gaza Strip.
Israel has long decried the terrorist group’s practice of committing war crimes by deliberately placing rocket launchers near and in civilian sites such as hospitals, schools, mosques and United Nations buildings.
One of the videos circulated by the IDF on its social media channels shows four rocket launching barrels in a residential neighborhood of the city of Beit Hanun, some 16 feet from a children’s swimming pool and around 65 to 100 feet from residential buildings.
“All of this is in the heart of a residential neighborhood,” a soldier explains.
The IDF also provided video and pictures of rocket launchers positioned within a children’s playground and amusement park compound.
“This is further proof of the Hamas terror organization’s constant use of the civilian population as a human shield for terror purposes,” the IDF said at the time.
Hamas has fired more than 10,000 rockets at Israeli civilians since Oct. 7, when thousands of its terrorists invaded the northwestern Negev, murdering 1,200 persons, wounding more than 7,500 others and taking approximately 240 hostages back to Gaza.