The Islamist gunmen were operating inside two UNRWA facilities in Gaza City.
JNS Staff Report
December 25, 2023
Israeli soldiers fought Hamas terrorists operating inside two United Nations schools in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday.
The military said the terrorists were hiding inside the Al Rafaa and Zavaha schools in the Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City.
“This is further evidence that Hamas uses the civilian population and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip as human shields for its terrorist activity,” added the IDF.
After killing the terrorists, IDF Nahal Brigade troops located dozens of explosive devices hidden inside UNRWA bags, along with Kalashnikov rifles and 15 suicide belts.
The IDF said that some of the terrorists in the schools were members of Islamic Jihad. Several had participated in the Oct. 7 massacre of some 1,200 persons during Hamas’s attack on Israeli communities near the Gaza border.
The use of the sacks belonging to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) raises further questions about its role in supporting Hamas.
In October, UNRWA reported that fuel and humanitarian aid was stolen from one of its compounds by people purporting to be from the Hamas-run Ministry of Health.
One released hostage told Israeli Channel 13 reporter Almog Boker that he was held captive by a UNRWA teacher. The hostage said the teacher locked him away and barely fed him or provided him medical treatment.
Also on Monday, Israeli soldiers in the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis raided a complex featuring a weapons-making facility and a concrete factory producing material that Hamas used for the construction of tunnels.
Combat engineers destroyed the compound along with a lathe and a large quantity of munitions.
According to the IDF, the Armored Corp’s reserve Kiryati Brigade, which located and destroyed the complex, has destroyed more than 100 Hamas sites in the area of Khan Yunis, including underground facilities and tunnel shafts.
Khan Yunis, the second largest city in Gaza, is a personal stronghold of Hamas leader in the Strip Yahya Sinwar, whose family lives there.
On Sunday night, the IDF announced the completion of a “large-scale operation to dismantle the northern underground headquarters of Hamas in Gaza.”
Troops retrieved the bodies of five hostages earlier this month after discovering the subterranean tunnel network during activities in the Jabalia camp, the largest of the Gaza Strip’s eight refugee camps.