Troops from the Israeli Defense Force’s 551st Reserve Brigade said that they discovered Hamas rockets stored inside the bed of a young girl in a home in the Beit Hanoun city in northern Gaza.
In video footage released on Thursday, the military showed rockets that it said had been kept in a storage unit underneath the bed in a bedroom with a “baby girl” sign on the wall.
Nearby, the IDF also showed a number of weapons it said it uncovered in the home, including missiles, explosive devices and explosive materials. The IDF said it destroyed the weaponry.
The military also published audio of what it said was an intercepted phone call between Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists about how they were transporting anti-tank missiles inside a stroller.
“Terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip continue to cynically use children of Gaza as a cover for terrorist operations,” an IDF spokesman said of the discovery.
For years, Israel has alleged that Hamas and other Gaza terror groups routinely use the coastal enclave’s civilian population as human shields in efforts to keep themselves safe and to prevent IDF retaliation.
במהלך פשיטה שביצעו לוחמים מצוות הקרב של חטיבת המילואים 551, בעקבות מידע מודיעיני, בביתו של מחבל חמאס שהיה חלק מחולייה של ארגון הטרור במרחב בית חאנון, אותרו מספר רקטות בתוך מיטה בחדר ילדים >> pic.twitter.com/ug4FEDeiPK
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 16, 2023
During previous conflicts with the terror group, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, Israel has also accused Hamas of launching rockets and positioning military bases inside residential areas, as well as next to schools, mosques and hospitals.
Israel’s current war against Hamas in Gaza was triggered by the deadly onslaught in southern Israel on October 7, when some 3,000 Hamas terrorists burst through the border with Israel, killing at least 1,200 people and taking more than 240 hostages.
In response, Israel vowed to eliminate the terror group and launched an offensive from the air and on the ground in order to remove the group from power and destroy its infrastructure.
During the course of the ground operation, the IDF has been able to collect a vast array of intelligence detailing Hamas’s underground tunnel systems, which cut through civilian neighborhoods across the Strip.
On October 27, the IDF presented evidence that it said shored up its long-asserted claim that Hamas maintains a headquarters under Shifa Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip.
In a briefing for international media outlets, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari presented audio and visual evidence of Hamas activity in and around the hospital.
Following the presentation of the evidence, on November 13, the European Union condemned Hamas’s use of human shields in a joint statement signed by the 27 member states.
The United States was later able to corroborate the evidence as well, and on Thursday, US President Joe Biden said that “one thing has been established: Hamas does have headquarters, weapons, materiel, below this hospital, and — I suspect — others.”
In addition to Shifa Hospital, the IDF procured evidence of Hamas activity underneath Rantisi Children’s Hospital in Gaza City, earlier this week.
Speaking in English, Hagari presented evidence showing Hamas weapons being stored underneath the children’s hospital, as well as rooms that had apparently been used to hold hostages.