The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have released video showing its military had located Hamas rocket launchers in close proximity to a swimming pool and a playground in Gaza. Troops also claimed Hamas has hidden rocket launchers within a playground and amusement park compound in northern Gaza. The IDF said Hamas operatives use sites to fire rockets inside the Israeli territory. This comes as the Israel-Hamas conflict entered its fifth week amid growing fears of a broader war in the Middle East.
“This is further proof of the Hamas terror organization’s constant use of the civilian population as a human shield for terror purposes,” the IDF said in a statement.
Israeli soldiers also found four underground launchers some five metres (16 feet) from a children’s swimming pool, and around 30 metres from homes in the northern Gaza Strip, as seen in the video posted by IDF on Facebook.
The video comes on a day when the Israeli military exposed a network of Hamas tunnels, command centres and rocket launchers beneath and adjacent to hospitals in northern Gaza.
“Today, I will be sharing evidence proving that Hamas systematically exploits hospitals as part of its war machine,” IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said during an official livestream on Facebook.
He presented videos, photographs and audio recordings that he said demonstrated Hamas’ strategy of using hospitals as cover and preventing civilians from leaving combat zones.
“Hamas systematically exploits hospitals as part of its war machine,” Israel’s chief military spokesperson Mr Hagari told reporters.
IDF said it has shared proof that Hamas has commanding control centres inside and under Shifa Hospital.
But Hamas has denied doing so and has accused Israel of spreading lies.
Israel has for weeks focused attention on Gaza’s main hospital, al-Shifa, accusing Hamas of using it as a shield for underground operational centres.
On Sunday, Hagari’s allegations included two other hospitals in northern Gaza – the Qatari-funded Sheikh Hamad Hospital and a hospital built by groups from Indonesia.