Israeli forces revealed images of weapons caches found in secret underground rooms beneath a mosque in the Palestinian militant stronghold of Jenin on Tuesday.
Israeli officials say troops acted on “precise” intelligence from the Israeli Security Agency and used “advanced technological tools to investigate the terrorist infrastructure embedded inside” the mosque. Footage shows Israeli troops sorting through stashes of explosives and weapons.
“Places of worship should never be used as a front for terrorist activity. This is an example of the cynical exploitation of innocent civilians by Palestinian terrorist groups operating in the Jenin Camp.” IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said in a statement.
The IDF’s search of the mosque came at the tail end of a large Monday operation targeting the militant stronghold. Some 2,000 Israeli troops were deployed as part of the operation.
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Palestinian officials say at least eight people were killed and 50 were wounded in the attack, which was larger than any operation Israel has carried out this year.
Jenin has been a hotbed of Palestinian terrorist activity for months, with Iranian-backed militants using it as a base to carry out attacks within Israel.
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There have been several skirmishes in and around the city throughout 2023, with Israeli forces carrying out operations targeting specific individuals and strongholds.
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In late June, Israeli troops demolished the home of a Palestinian who was suspected of killing an Israeli soldier last year.
The house belonged to Kamal Jouri, one of two Palestinians suspected of killing Staff Sgt. Ido Baruch in a drive-by shooting in the northern West Bank in October. He and a second suspect were arrested by the military in February, and the army demolished the second suspect’s home earlier this month. A Palestinian militant group called the Den of Lions claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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