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IDF troops raid Hamas compound, seize weapons cache from hidden tunnel in Rafah

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Israeli forces conducted a raid against a Hamas compound in Gaza on Tuesday, uncovering a tunnel and a significant cache of weapons and explosives.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) released footage and images from the operation, which targeted a building Israel says Hamas troops used to fire on their forces. IDF soldiers eliminated ‘dozens’ of Hamas terrorists during the operation, the military said.

‘Soldiers searched a building and located many weapons including protective equipment, explosives, weapons, anti-tank missiles, equipment and tools intended for breaching fences,’ the IDF said in a statement.

Soldiers later ‘located a tunnel shaft containing a weapons warehouse with short-range anti-tank missiles, grenades, weapons, and explosives. This warehouse was intended to be used to carry out terrorist attacks against our forces. The tunnel shaft and the weapons were destroyed,’ the statement continued.

The raid was Israel’s latest of its precision strikes in and around Rafah, the last major stronghold for Hamas in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called for a full scale invasion of the city, but the U.S. aggressively opposed the plan.

President Biden threatened to withhold military aid from Israel if Netanyahu went forward with an invasion. The Israeli leader has so far complied, limiting the IDF to operations like the one on Tuesday.

Despite the restraint, the International Criminal Court is nevertheless seeking arrest warrants for both Netanyahu and his defense minister, Yoav Gallant. It is also seeking a warrant for Hamas terrorist leader Yahya Sinwar and other Hamas leaders.

Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders condemned the move as disgraceful and antisemitic. President Biden also lambasted the prosecutor and supported Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas.

A panel of three judges will decide whether to issue the arrest warrants and allow a case to proceed. The judges typically take two months to make such decisions.

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