Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops found weapons stashed inside a teddy bear inside a school in Gaza on Friday, the latest example of Palestinian terrorists using civilian infrastructure to conduct their activities, which is a war crime.
Footage released by the IDF shows Israeli soldiers entering a darkened storage area, then tearing open the large teddy bear to reveal a large rifle and ammunition box.
Another video from a school nearby shows IDF soldiers finding weapons in classrooms, including in bags from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the special institution devoted solely to Palestinian refugees from wars decades ago.
במהלך פעילות של לוחמי צוות הקרב של חטיבה 551 אתמול, נמצאה בובת דובי שהוסוו בתוכה נשק צלפים ותחמושת בתוך בית ספר.
בנוסף, בבית ספר סמוך נמצאו אמצעי לחימה שהוסוו בתוך כיתות לימוד, חלקם הוחבאו בשקיות של אונר״א pic.twitter.com/cBgidMdWKI
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) December 9, 2023
In a statement, the IDF said:
During operational activity by the 551th Division yesterday, a large teddy bear was found containing sniper rifles and ammunition inside a school.
Additionally, in a nearby school, weaponry was found hidden in classrooms, some concealed in UNRWA bags.
The Hamas terrorist organization is using children’s games to conceal weapons, while deliberately putting the children of Gaza at risk. Throughout the war, weapons were found hidden in children’s items and play areas including in a girl’s backpack, under children’s beds, in schools, and in playgrounds.
The IDF added:
IDF troops engaged with a terrorist cell in the area of a school in Shuja’iyya. Exchanges of fire took place in which all of the terrorists in the cell were killed. The troops continued to conduct searches in the area of the school and located a number of AK-47 rifles, grenades, and ammunition inside the classrooms.
Moreover, the IDF said that Hamas had fired rockets Friday at Israeli civilians from within the designated “humanitarian zone” in Al-Mawasi in the southwest Gaza Strip, where Israel has said civilians and relief agencies should go to be free from danger. It was the second time that Hamas had done so, hoping that they would be safe from an IDF response, and putting civilian lives at risk.
The IDF said that the rockets were fired at Tel Aviv.
דובר צה"ל בערבית אביחי אדרעי חשף: חמאס ירה את מטח הרקטות למרכז הארץ אתמול – מהאזור ההומניטרי אל-מוואסי שבדרום הרצועה. אתר השיגור שממנו בוצע הירי – נמצא 20 מטר מבית ספר. "פגזי הרקטות נפלו בתוך שטח הרצועה וסיכנו את חייהם של עזתים רבים"@N12News pic.twitter.com/Iy5tEcKE1W
— ספיר ליפקין | Sapir Lipkin | سابير ليبكين (@sapirlipkin) December 9, 2023
The IDF also released footage of a battle with terrorists in the area of Jabaliya, in the northern Gaza Strip, who had tried to set an ambush. (The footage cannot be published on Breitbart News because it ends with two dead bodies belonging to Hamas terrorists.)
In a statement, the IDF said:
As part of the Nahal Brigade’s activity in Jabaliya, troops of the 931st Battalion received information regarding the presence of Hamas terrorists and weaponry in nearby structures. Consequently, the troops launched a targeted strike on those structures.
The terrorists had set up an ambush in the same area, preparing to attack our forces as they passed through the central traffic route. The forces flanked the enemy through one of the alleys, surprising them and firing at the terrorists. The terrorists fired back at our forces and threw grenades. The firefight continued until the terrorists were eliminated.
During encounters that occurred in the same area over the past few days, additional terrorists were eliminated by troops from the 931st Battalion, uncovering weaponry and terrorist infrastructure. Additionally, several terrorists were eliminated by tank fire and by IAF UAVs.
The IDF has suffered 97 deaths since the invasion of Gaza began several weeks ago, while eliminating a significant part of Hamas’s forces. Hamas claimed that an Israeli hostage, Sahar Baruch, 25, was killed during a rescue attempt this week, and released a video showing his dead body. Israeli sources alleged that Hamas tortured and executed Barach for propaganda purposes, to discourage future rescue attempts.
Earlier in the war, Hamas claimed that a female Israeli hostage had been killed in an Israeli airstrike; when the IDF recovered her body near Shifa Hospital, it examined her and concluded she had been murdered.
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.