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Day 244: IDF strikes terror compound in UNRWA school, Hamas claims over 30 killed

IDF operations continue in central Gaza and Rafah

Locations of terrorists operating in the UNRWA school complex (Photo: IDF).

Israeli operations in the Gaza neighborhoods of Bureij and Deir al-Balah continued as combat teams from the 7th Brigade and Kfir Brigade operated against terrorist infrastructure above and below ground. 

As of Wednesday evening, Israeli forces had gained operational control of the area, eliminating several terrorists and locating several tunnel shafts and rocket launchers.

During operations, the 7th Brigade Combat Team located a ready-to-launch mortar shell launcher with a United Nations symbol hidden under a post near the border fence. 

Early Thursday morning, Israel Air Force (IAF) fighter jets, operating on IDF and Shin Bet intelligence, conducted a strike on a Hamas compound embedded inside a UNRWA school (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) in Nuseirat in central Gaza.

The IDF said the compound was used by elite Nukhba Forces of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists, including some who took part in the Oct. 7 massacres. The IDF also stated that terror attacks were planned and directed from the compound in the school while exploiting its protected status. The compound was reportedly used for actively planning for attacks against IDF soldiers and Israeli communities near the border area. 

An IDF spokesperson said the military took several steps before the strike to reduce the risk of harming uninvolved civilians, including aerial surveillance, and additional intelligence gathering. 

Arab media reported that several groups of displaced persons were sheltering in the school at the time, while the Palestinian Ministry of Communications claimed that about 30 people were killed in the attack. 

Hamas called the attack a “massacre,” and said, “We call on the international community to intervene and stop the genocide against the Palestinians.” 

The IDF did not indicate the number of terrorists killed in the strike. 

Combat teams of the 12th Brigade, the Givati ​​Brigade, the 401st Brigade, the Yahalom Unit, and Unit 504 (Military Intelligence) have continued conducting precise, targeted operations in Rafah. 

IDF troops recently located several significant tunnel shafts leading to a long tunnel that reached the Philadelphi Corridor. The tunnel was approximately 2 kilometers (1.3 miles) long and connected to several other tunnels.

Inside the extensive tunnel system, soldiers found weapons such as AK-47s, anti-tank missiles, blast doors, intelligence assets, and explosives. At the end of the operation, the tunnel was destroyed by Yahalom troops.

Also on Thursday morning, soldiers operating near the security fence identified several suspects approaching from the Gaza Strip, allegedly attempting to take advantage of foggy conditions in the area. The suspects reportedly moved towards Israeli territory in an attempt to cross the security perimeter near Rafah. 

When IDF soldiers approached the suspects under cover of an IDF tank and identified them as terrorists, a battle erupted as the terrorists returned fire. 

An IAF aircraft monitoring the situation struck the terrorists, eliminating two of them. A third terrorist was eliminated by tank fire shortly afterward. A fourth terrorist reportedly fled back into Rafah. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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