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Rockets found hidden under humanitarian equipment

TJI Pick
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Rockets found hidden under humanitarian equipment

Published: 5 December 2023

Last updated: 5 March 2024

As fighting resumes in Gaza, Hamas claims responsibility for a terror attack in Jerusalem which left four Israelis dead.

Fighting resumed in Gaza on Friday after talks on the extension of the ceasefire-hostage release deal collapsed. Israeli officials said the talks collapsed because Hamas refused to free 10 Israeli women, and instead, offered to begin discussing the release of elderly men. Hamas blamed Israel for the breakdown of the ceasefire.

On Saturday, the IDF uncovered dozens of Hamas missiles hidden underneath equipment owned by UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency). Dozens of missiles with varying capacities, as well as some 30 Grad rockets, were found by Israeli forces.

The army also destroyed a mosque which had been used as Islamic Jihad operational headquarters. In another mission, a combat team in Jabalia killed Hamas fighters and destroyed terror infrastructure. The neutralised infrastructure included tunnels and subterranean structures used by Hamas.

The resumed fighting has combined with a terror attack in Jerusalem last week to raise fears of renewed terror inside Israel.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, which led to the deaths of four people and the wounding of five. The two gunmen were shot dead by two off-duty soldiers and an armed civilian who happened to be nearby.

Military police will investigate the death of Yuval Castleman, the armed civilian, who was shot during the fighting. Castleman was engaging the two Palestinian terrorists when soldiers mistook him for an additional assailant. Footage showed that even after Castleman put his gun down and held his hands in the air, he was shot by an off-duty soldier.

Nir Hasson wrote in Haaretz that the shootings by two known terrorists signalled a dangerous turn in terror attacks on Israel.

"Most attacks in Jerusalem in recent years were carried out with a knife or improvised weapons originating in the Palestinian territories. The attacks were usually carried out in the Old City or at the seam line between the Palestinian East Jerusalem and its Jewish West.

"Most of the attacks were also carried out by lone terrorists, who made a moment’s decision pledged only to their Facebook page. No preparation, no organisational affiliation, and not much thought. At times, they were attempts at "suicide by cop" or motivated by a background of difficult personal and family circumstances.

“Thursday's attack is very different: Two terrorists in their 30s, affiliated with Hamas, armed with standard-issue weapons, one of which was an M16 rifle, drove to the western part of the city and carried out a premeditated shooting attack. This is a much more dangerous version of terrorism,” he wrote.

The International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority at the weekend, and spoke out against the October 7 attacks.

“The attacks against innocent Israeli civilians on October 7 represent some of the most serious international crimes that shock the conscience of humanity, crimes which the ICC was established to address,” he said.

Khan also called for the immediate release of the hostages abducted in Israel and taken to Gaza in the course of Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israeli border communities.

He also spoke about the military operation that Israel has conducted in Gaza in response to the October 7 attacks with the aim of removing Hamas from power in Gaza and eliminating the military threat posed by other groups there. “Notwithstanding any ongoing violations of international humanitarian law by Hamas and other armed groups in the Gaza Strip, the manner in which Israel responds to these attacks is subject to clear legal parameters that govern armed conflict,” he said.

“Conflict in densely populated areas where fighters are alleged to be unlawfully embedded in the civilian population is inherently complex, but international humanitarian law must still apply and the Israeli military knows the law that must be applied,” he said.

Jerusalem Terror Attack Raises Fear Over Spillover of Gaza Fighting (Nir Hasson, Haaretz)

How the Gaza ceasefire collapsed (Barak Ravid, Axios)

IDF discovers Gaza rockets, missiles hidden under UNRWA equipment (Jerusalem Post)

ICC Prosecutor Calls Oct. 7 Hamas Attack on Israelis 'Serious International Crimes' (Haaretz)

Israeli prisoner release shines light on system of detaining Palestinians without charge
Of the 300 prisoners identified as eligible for release in exchange for hostages, 80% were not convicted of any crimes, an NBC News analysis revealed.

Two Palestinians Killed in Separate Incidents in West Bank
Footage obtained by Haaretz shows settlers, some of them masked, alongside Israeli soldiers near torched property in a West Bank village in which a man's body was found hours later. In another incident, a 14-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by soldiers near Nablus after, according to them, he drew a knife and advanced toward them.

US to announce visa ban on violent settlers in coming weeks — officials
Announcement expected to specify number rather than names of settlers banned as deterrent against those considering targeting Palestinians; French foreign ministry calls for EU ban

Return to Gush Katif: A determined movement emerges to resettle Israelis in Gaza
As some supporters cite ideology and others defence needs, a coalition forms after Hamas’s October 7 massacre with the goal of renewing Jewish presence in the Strip, gone since 2005.

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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