Israeli forces killed a top-ranked Hamas weapons czar, as the military advanced inside Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said on Wednesday. The IDF targeted the weapons chief, Mohsen Abu Zina, as part of a larger effort to strike at the terror group’s senior and tactical leaders.
“Abu Zina served as Hamas’ leading weapons developer and had expertise in the field of strategic weapons and rockets,” the IDF said on November 8.
The attack on Abu Zina came amid air and ground assaults against Hamas in Gaza.
Overnight, IDF troops called in strikes against a number of terror cells, and continued to encircle Hamas in northern Gaza, according to IDF spokesman Lt Col. Richard Hecht.
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The advance is challenging, Hecht noted.
“Hamas has spent over 15 years entrenching itself within the Gaza Strip, investing in a sprawling network of tunnels, amassing massive quantities of weapons, and training for this moment,” Hecht said. “Every single day, as the troops advance, they find more weapons, hidden in the most horrific places.”
These include rocket launchers, claymore mines, grenades, and more, sequestered in areas used by children, Hecht said.
“The Israel Defense Forces discovered concealed rocket launchers and other weapons inside a school in the northern Gaza Strip,” he said. “This wasn’t just for storage – the school was being used as a base for mortar and rocket launches.”
The IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate, meanwhile, released a conversation between a Gazan resident and a Hamas terrorist, describing how Hamas exploits ambulances.
With Israeli forces operating in Gaza City, according to the country’s defense minister, more Palestinian civilians are fleeing the northern part of Gaza toward the southern part of the enclave. Some 15,000 people fled on Tuesday, three times the number that made the trip on Monday, according to the United Nations.