IDF uncovers largest Gaza weapons plant since start of war
Israeli forces examining rocket parts in the largest weapons manufacturing site found since the start of the war against Hamas, in the Al-Bureij camp, central Gaza, Jan. 8, 2024. (Photo: IDF)

The factory produced rockets capable of reaching northern Israel • 40 terrorists killed in Khan Yunis • Nine IDF soldiers slain in Gaza.

By Joshua Marks
January 9, 2024

(JNS) — Israeli forces operating in central Gaza have found the largest weapons manufacturing site discovered since the start of the war, containing rockets capable of reaching north of Tel Aviv, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Monday.

The weapons plant was part of a massive tunnel system 30 meters (nearly 100 feet) underneath the Al-Bureij camp, according to the IDF. The rockets produced in the facility had a range of over 100 kilometers (62 miles), the IDF said. Other weapons factories were also found for the production of explosives, rocket guidance systems, mortar shells, small arms and drones.

“This is the largest weapons manufacturing site we have discovered since the beginning of the war,” IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said on Monday during his daily press briefing.

“This factory was connected to an underground tunnel system, through which weapons were transferred throughout the Gaza Strip. The rockets manufactured there were launched toward central Israel and other areas in the State of Israel. We will continue to operate against Hamas’ manufacturing infrastructure, against their underground system and against Hamas leaders throughout the Gaza Strip,” he said.

According to the IDF, the Al-Bureij camp is where Hamas terrorists produced many of the weapons used during their Oct. 7 invasion of southern Israel. On that day, thousands of terrorists rampaged across the northwestern Negev, murdering around 1,200 civilians and soldiers, wounding thousands more and taking about 240 hostages back to Gaza. While a large number were released as part of a ceasefire deal in November, it is believed that 129 are still being held captive. Thousands of rockets were fired at Israel during the assault.

IDF expands ground operations in Khan Yunis

IDF troops over the past day expanded operations in the Hamas stronghold of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, the army said on Tuesday morning. Forty terrorists were killed in strikes.

In addition, “significant” tunnels were discovered, along with a variety of weapons, including AK-47 rifles, RPGs, grenades, ammunition and military vests.

The Israeli Navy also struck at Hamas’s naval forces, including military posts, storage facilities and vessels.

IDF releases names of nine soldiers killed in Gaza

The IDF on Tuesday morning released the names of four more soldiers killed in action in Gaza: Sgt. Roi Tal, 19, from Kfar Yehoshua; Sgt. First Class (res.) David Schwartz, 26, from Elazar; Sgt. First Class (res.) Yakir Hexter, 26, from Jerusalem; and Sgt. First Class (res.) Gavriel Bloom, 27, from Beit Shemesh.

Later on Tuesday, the names of five more soldiers killed during fighting in the Gaza Strip on Monday were published, bringing that day’s death toll to nine.

They are:

Master Sgt. (res.) Amit Moshe Shahar, 25, from Ramat Yohanan; Capt. (res.) Denis Krokhmalov Veksler, 32, from Beersheva; Capt. (res.) Ron Efrimi, 26, from Hod Hasharon; Master Sgt. (res.) Roi Avraham Maimon, 24, from Afula; and Sgt. Maj. (res.) Akiva Yasinskiy, 35, from Ramat Gan.

All five died when explosives were detonated in Al-Bureij, along with Bloom, whose name was published earlier. The large blast injured around 30 other soldiers, including musician and “Fauda” actor Idan Amedi, who is in serious but stable condition following the incident.

One hundred eighty-five Israeli soldiers have been killed since the start of ground operations in Gaza on Oct. 27.

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