Israel suspects that deadly fire in Rafah was due to Hamas hiding weapons among civilian population

According to the IDF, the bombed area was used by Hamas to carry out terrorist operations. A report adds that 150 feet from the attacked target, there was a rocket launcher belonging to the Islamist organization.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) suspect that the fire that killed dozens of displaced Gazans during an Israeli offensive in Rafah occurred due to “secondary explosions” caused by munitions that Hamas stored in the area, as indicated by the preliminary results of the investigation being carried out by the Israeli military.

On Monday, the IDF Southern Command presented the initial findings of the investigation into the bombing carried out on Sunday on the northern outskirts of Rafah to Herzi Halevi, chief of the general staff of Israel. Two senior leaders of the Hamas terrorist group were eliminated in the attack, but it also generated a wave of international criticism for the death of Gazans who were in a camp for displaced persons.

According to initial findings, the bombed area was used by Hamas to carry out terrorist operations. The report adds that 150 feet from the attacked target, there was a rocket launcher from the Palestinian Islamist organization, and also in the vicinity there were wells from which projectiles were fired at the Jewish state.

Preliminary results also indicate that the bombed area is over half a mile from the area that the IDF had established for displaced Gazans.

Everything seems to indicate, adds the Israeli military, that the senior Hamas commanders who were eliminated were inside a barracks complex that was not in the vicinity of the displaced persons camp.

Preliminary findings also indicate that the Israeli Air Force used weapons that have been used hundreds of times in recent months: two small missiles with 37 pounds of explosives each. The IDF claims that these munitions would not have set fire to the compound for displaced persons.

After analyzing intelligence information and various videos of the event spread on social media, the IDF estimates that “secondary explosions occurred at the site due to the storage of Hamas ammunition.”

IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari stressed in a statement to the international media that Hamas has been firing rockets from the area bombed by Israel since the Oct. 7 massacre. Additionally, the IDF published a recording of a telephone communication between two residents of Gaza, in which they specifically state that the ammunition stored by Hamas there caught fire and exploded as a result of the Israeli offensive, which would indicate that the terrorist group is hiding weapons among the civilian population.