IDF exposes Hamas, Islamic Jihad rocket launch sites near Gaza schools

The IDF revealed the location of at least three schools that have rocket launch sites stationed next to them.

 An Iron Dome anti-missile system fires an interceptor missile as a rocket is launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, at the sky near the Israel-Gaza border August 7, 2022. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
An Iron Dome anti-missile system fires an interceptor missile as a rocket is launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, at the sky near the Israel-Gaza border August 7, 2022.
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

The IDF on Wednesday exposed three new school locations that Hamas has been recently using as rocket launch sites, violating the laws of war about keeping war-related issues away from civilian areas.

A statement by the IDF said, “Hamas exposed: This is how the Hamas terrorist organization uses schools and education to promote its terrorist agenda. Additional instances of Hamas deliberately using children as human shields are now being exposed.”

“This exposure comes approximately two weeks after UNRWA reported that the ground of one of its schools had collapsed. The collapse was caused by the construction of a Hamas terrorist tunnel,” said the IDF.

Where were the rocket launch sites found?

The first location listed by the IDF is adjacent to the Mo'ath Bin Jabal school in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City.

 A teacher talks to her students about the importance of hand-washing with hand sanitizer on the first day of the new school year in the Gaza Strip, August 16, 2021. (credit: HASSAN ESLIEH/THE MEDIA LINE) A teacher talks to her students about the importance of hand-washing with hand sanitizer on the first day of the new school year in the Gaza Strip, August 16, 2021. (credit: HASSAN ESLIEH/THE MEDIA LINE)

Near the school, which is used by UNRWA as a shelter during emergencies, is a Hamas rocket launch site, according to the IDF.

In addition, the IDF stated that “prior to Operation Guardian of the Walls, the school’s principal, Mehammed Abu Oun, maintained contact with an operative in the Hamas rocket array, Jalal Abu Aoun,” who the IDF said was managing the firing of rockets from the site.

Hamas stationed a second rocket launch site near the Khalil Al Nobani school in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, said the IDF.

No additional information was provided regarding the firing of rockets from that location.

Finally, the IDF said that “terrorist organizations stationed rocket launch sites near the Al-Furqan elementary school” which is also located in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City.

It said that “Terrorist organizations launched rockets from the sites near the school throughout Operations Guardian of the Walls and Breaking Dawn, thereby endangering the lives of the students and residents of the Gaza Strip.”

The use of the phrase “terror organizations” and referring also to Operation Breaking Dawn, which was fought strictly between the IDF and Islamic Jihad, suggested that this third sight might have been used more by Islamic Jihad – though this would still be with Hamas, which rules Gaza, encouraging the group or looking the other way

Next, the IDF said that over 1,000 innocent students attend these schools that Hamas and Islamic Jihad use for terrorist activities.

“The cynical exploitation of schools proves once again that the terrorist organization consciously chooses to endanger Gazan civilians and use them as 'human shields' for the benefit of their terrorist agendas."

IDF

“The cynical exploitation of schools proves once again that the terrorist organization consciously chooses to endanger Gazan civilians and use them as 'human shields' for the benefit of their terrorist agendas," concluded the IDF.

Hamas had not responded at press time.