JERUSALEM, Israel — The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced Monday that a rocket factory had been discovered beneath a mosque in Gaza, together with a variety of deadly weapons hidden at the holy site.
In a statement, the IDF said:
Soldiers from the Combat Engineering, Infantry and Armored Corps of the 36th Division are fighting to defeat the ‘Zaytun’ Battalion of the Hamas terrorist organization. The ‘Zaytun’ Battalion is one of Hamas’ main battalions operating in the area of Zaytun in Gaza City. The troops have encountered an enemy that is entrenched in the heart of residential neighborhoods, hospitals, schools and kindergartens, and attacks from within civilian infrastructure.
The soldiers of the Golani Brigade led the beginning of the fighting against ‘Zaytun’. The soldiers have engaged dozens of terrorists, conducting battles at close quarters with them, and have eliminated many of them.
The soldiers of the 188th Brigade took operational control of several key targets of the ‘Zaytun’ Battalion, including the command center of the Commander of the Gaza City Brigade and the battalion’s central headquarters. The soldiers searched the area, located many weapons and at the end of the searches they destroyed the command center of the Commander of the Brigade. In addition, the soldiers directed an air strike in the area of the Zaytun which led to the elimination of terrorists. In recent days, the soldiers located a laboratory for the production of rockets, explosion materials, a tunnel shaft, a large number of weapons and a UAV inside a mosque.
Soldiers of the Bislamach Brigade destroyed military targets of the Hamas terrorist organization in Zaytun, among them an Islamic Jihad weapons production post, where heavy and long-range rockets were located, as well as a lathe used for military purposes. The soldiers also destroyed tunnel shafts, took control of Hamas command centers, confiscated intelligence material used by the organization to learn about IDF soldiers, and struck additional buildings from which terrorists fired at IDF soldiers.
Commanding Officer of the 36th Division, BG Dado Bar Kalifa: “During the last days of the fighting of the 36th Division in Zaytun, we constantly encountered an enemy hiding behind children, women and civilian infrastructure. The soldiers of the division, including soldiers of the Golani Brigade, the 188th Brigade and the Bislamach Brigade, operated in a complex war zone in an urban area, exposed terrorists who were hiding in civilian areas and eliminated many terrorists. These achievements were made possible thanks to the close cooperation between the Infantry, Combat Engineering and Armored Corps and the IAF. We will not stop until we achieve all our goals, and we will continue to act to protect our home.”
The IDF holds the northern and western parts of the northern portion of the Gaza Strip, and has been systematically defeating Hamas units in the vicinity of Gaza City as it searches for hostages. The IDF also announced that it has been receiving help from local Palestinian civilians who are giving it intelligence about the whereabouts of Hamas terrorists and their tunnels.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.