Israeli forces say they locate large underground weapons factory in Gaza

January 9, 2024 5:30 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Israeli forces located what they said was the largest weapons production site so far found in Gaza.

With underground workshops they said were used to produce long-range missiles capable of hitting targets in northern Israel.

The military said that in addition to missiles, the workshops produced copies or adaptations of standard munitions like mortar shells and were connected through underground shafts to a tunnel network used to transport the weapons to fighting units throughout the Gaza Strip.

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On Monday, the Israeli military took a group of reporters to visit the site in the Bureij area in the middle of the narrow coastal enclave, which has been devastated by weeks of bombardment and ground fighting.

A variety of metal tubes and components as well as shell casings were stacked in an overground workshop area, while in another area, long metal racks holding missiles could be seen, with an elevator leading down into the tunnel.

“…From the elevator, they contain the rockets in a place which is safe and then it goes down to other areas inside the tunnel system,” chief military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said.

“In one place you make the rockets, another place you launch,” he said.

The site was the latest in a series of extensive tunnel installations to be captured by the military since the invasion of Gaza, launched in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel by Hamas.

Israeli officials say Hamas deliberately locates military infrastructure including tunnels in civilian areas in order to make it more difficult to attack it. Hamas denies this and says Israel attacks civilian targets indiscriminately.

More than 22,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli operation, according to Palestinian health officials, and most of the 2.3 million population has been forced to flee their homes to a small area in the south.

Israel’s biggest ever operation in Gaza was launched in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas gunmen who killed more than 1,200 people in southern Israel and seized some 240 as hostages, according to Israeli tallies.