Israel pressed its offensive against Hamas on December 21, night as soldiers uncovered and destroyed rocket launchers and other weapons, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said on December 22 morning. In the central Gaza village of Jahar al-Dikh, troops located a Hamas weapons warehouse. Soldiers also spotted rocket launchers that had been used to fire rockets at Israel in previous days. The launchers were destroyed in an airstrike.
Israeli forces operating in Gaza City also found large numbers of weapons, including mortars and explosives, inside a house next to a kindergarten. In another house nearby, a rocket launcher ready for use and aimed towards Israel was discovered, along with a rocket-propelled grenade on a windowsill ready to be fired.
In Khan Yunis, soldiers uncovered large numbers of weapons, including military uniforms, explosive charges, weapons, cartridges and combat equipment, inside a residential home. Meanwhile, an Air Force fighter jet directed by ground forces killed a Hamas terrorist placing explosive charges and striking a terror squad that endangered the Israelis.
Engineering forces destroyed a tunnel route from which terrorists came out and fired a rocket-propelled grenade.
The IDF added that in the last two days, forces based on intelligence guidance carried out raids on the buildings at a school on the outskirts of Al Shati in northern Gaza, where Hamas squads operated. Soldiers found many weapons, cartridges and maps belonging to Hamas.
The moves come one day after the IDF announced it had completed the takeover of northern Gaza’s Shejaiya district.
At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Oct. 7. The number of men, women, children, soldiers and foreigners held captive in Gaza by Hamas is now believed to be 129. Other people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains.
(with inputs from ANI)