Militants in the Gaza Strip were caught on camera Tuesday morning assembling a rocket launch site which they then used to fire a flurry of rockets into Israel on Wednesday minutes before a ceasefire came into effect in Gaza.
Sreenivasan Jain and NDTV filmed suspected Hamas members assembling the rocket launch site beneath a tent in the middle of a residential neighbourhood. The launch site was placed within feet of hotels and apartment blocks in a crowded residential area.
“If Hamas does fire a rocket from here, it would have immediate consequences for everyone around here,” Jain said in the NDTV video segment. “The first night that we came here, we did see, or hear, a rocket go off exactly at that plot of land. The hotels opposite us were evacuated because the Israelis sent a warning that there might be a strike on them.”
In the video, militants assemble a rocket launching system under a blue tent in a residential area on August 4. Three men made multiple trips into and out of the tent, connecting the device under the tarp with wires, before placing the launcher underneath a bush and some sand.
The rocket was launched minutes before a 72-hour ceasefire between Hamas and Israel was to come into effect.
Israel has faced a barrage of criticism over the conduct of its military operations and the mounting civilian death toll in Gaza. Israeli officials have argued that Hamas routinely fires rockets from civilian areas, causing Israeli retaliatory strikes that result in civilian deaths.
Before striking civilian buildings, Israel sends a warning that there could be an airstrike. If a strike is to take place, Israel then launches a smaller missile to “knock” on a building before bombing it 15 minutes later.
Hamas has been widely criticised for launching rockets into Israel from densely packed civilian areas. However, Hamas has generally avoided being captured on film, and as New York Times photographer Tyler Hicks explained, during this war it’s been very unusual for journalists to even see the group’s militants operating out in the open at any time.
NDTV reported that the video was published after the team had left the Gaza strip, so as to limit any retribution from Hamas towards the journalists.
We have included the NDTV video below:
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