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IDF captures Hamas stronghold after 10-hour firefight, discovers tunnels near kindergarten

This image taken from the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip on October 29, 2023, shows a black cloud of smoke ascending from the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. The Israeli army has raised the number of troops fighting inside the Gaza Strip, a spokesman said on October 29, 2023, as the military stepped up its war on Hamas in the Palestinian territory. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Hamas terrorists based in the Gaza Strip stormed into southern Israel in an unprecedented attack, torturing and murdering civilians, triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza.
This image taken from the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip on October 29, 2023, shows a black cloud of smoke ascending from the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. The Israeli army has raised the number of troops fighting inside the Gaza Strip, a spokesman said on October 29, 2023, as the military stepped up its war on Hamas in the Palestinian territory. Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Hamas terrorists based in the Gaza Strip stormed into southern Israel in an unprecedented attack, torturing and murdering civilians, triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. | FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli forces captured a Hamas stronghold following a 10-hour firefight as troops uncovered the terror group’s tunnel shafts, one of which Israeli officials say was located near a kindergarten. 

Troops from the 933rd Nahal Infantry Brigade, one of the five infantry brigades of the IDF, completed the takeover of Outpost 17 in northern Gaza, which Hamas previously ran. The troops battled Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad above and below ground, killing dozens of terrorists.

According to a Thursday IDF statement, Ibrahim Abu-Maghsib, the head of Hamas’ Anti Tank Missile Unit in the Central Camps Brigade, died during the attack from an IDF fighter jet. The attack was carried out as a result of intelligence gathered by the Israel Securities Authority and the IDF. 

Israel has been at war with Hamas for over a month following the terror group’s Oct. 7 attack against civilian communities in southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of at least 1,400 people. Around 5,000 were wounded, and over 240 people were taken captive as hostages.

“Since the beginning of the war, about 9,500 rockets and dozens of aircraft have been launched towards Israel,” the IDF statement reads. “About 12% of the total launches towards Israel landed in the Gaza Strip and about 900 launches were carried out from civilian sites such as mosques, schools, hospitals and cultural centers.”

Late last month, Israel commenced a ground operation in Gaza to eradicate Hamas, an Islamic terror organization that has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, and secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas.

Since Israel’s forces entered Gaza, the IDF has discovered over 130 entrances to tunnels used by the terror group.

In a Thursday social media post, the IDF provided further details about the outpost takeover, sharing that Israeli troops seized enemy weapons and uncovered tunnel shafts. One shaft was located near a kindergarten that reportedly led to an “extensive underground route.”

According to a follow-up IDF post shared on the same day, Nahal troops also recovered “significant operative materials” detailing Hamas’ operational plans. 

As The Christian Post previously reported, the IDF has shared photos and videos amid its ground operation in Gaza that show Hamas rocket launching sites in children’s playgrounds and other residential areas. 

In an IDF video shared earlier this month, the soldiers are seen walking through a building with colorful paintings of children dressed in scout uniforms on the walls. The camera then zoomed in on the rocket launchers inside of the building, which one soldier noted appeared to be aimed north, toward the city of Ashkelon in Israel. 

“This is what we are finding in Gaza,” one of the IDF soldiers in the video said. “A building where children play is a Hamas rocket launching site. You have to see it to believe it.” 

Another video shared by the IDF showed soldiers in Beit Hanoun, a city on the northeast edge of the Gaza Strip, pointing out the presence of rocket launcher barrels within a residential neighborhood. 

“What you can see here is a group of four launching barrels for rockets [being fired] towards Israel,” a soldier said in the video. 

The IDF soldier said the rocket launching barrels were within what he described as the “heart” of a residential neighborhood, and the launching barrels were only a few feet away from a children’s swimming pool and multiple buildings. 

Another IDF post features photos and videos of rocket launchers within a children’s playground and other civilian areas. In its post, the IDF cited the video and pictures as evidence that Hamas uses civilians “as a human shield for the benefit of terrorist needs.”

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: samantha.kamman@christianpost.com. Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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