TOYS, children’s clothes and football stickers lay yards from a bomb factory in the rubble of a Hamas HQ shown to The Sun.
Just a month ago a battalion commander and his terror troops used this four-bed flat to plot the cross-border kill-and-kidnap spree that triggered war.
Everywhere they go they find evidence of where the terror plot began.
Israel’s retaliatory Operation Iron Sword is in full swing and they refuse to stop until Hamas is no more.
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At the flat in Shati, northern Gaza, The Sun was also shown rolled-up maps buried alongside hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition, TNT and explosive charges.
The commander’s epaulettes, military uniforms and walkie-talkies were also recovered.
As we stood in a room with no exterior wall, Israel Defence Forces Major Maayan Mulla told us: “There are signs that people lived here.
“Look over there, chairs, wardrobes.
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“This is a normal place for people like us, but inside this apartment is a military base with a family.
“How do we know? Because of the intelligence we found inside.
“Look out from here.
“He (the commander) had a direct line of sight to the missile storage site on the beach.
“From the other side of this building there is a tunnel.
“We are searching for another that connects to it and to Gaza City.
“This is the parents’ room and over there, the kids room.
“Their kids were sleeping whilst they were making bombs in a room at the back that had been turned into a workshop.
“This is where they made them — here, in the house.”
Children’s clothes scattered the floor including Fireman Sam pyjamas.
A ride-along toy car was upended amid the chaos.
The bomb-making factory was in a room across the hall.
A white table was strewn with wires and tools apparently used to build the weaponry laid on the floor.
A tin of Quality Street on a table contained wires and tools.
Close by, partially buried beneath the rubble, was a plastic toy AK-47.
Soldiers in the unit escorting us took maps they had seized, placed them on the wall and began arranging cellophane coverings over the top.
The transparent maps have been drawn on in permanent marker with what appear to be routes.
We had secretly headed into Gaza on a Humvee shortly after 10am, passing through the wire fence separating it from Israel.
One trooper told me they built their own road into the enclave after Hamas booby-trapped the main highway.
On our journey we saw the Israeli flag flying at various locations.
Tanks and 4×4 snatch-vehicles contained troops who smiled and gave Vs for victory.
At a rendezvous point, amid sporadic gunfire, we switched to a Puma tank and roared deeper into the district.
Tower blocks have been razed by multiple air strikes.
The landscape is apocalyptic, a desolate war zone of dust, sand and ruins.
Every now and then there are glimpses that innocent civilians once occupied theseand walked the streets.
Rocking chairs and armchairs are visible in a second-floor apartment.
Some exterior walls are partially demolished.
Others have been completely destroyed.
Inner walls bear the markings of bullet holes and shrapnel marks.
Now the only real signs of life are troops busily going from building to building.
Many gathered to watch diggers push mounds of sand in a bid to reveal more tunnels.
So far, 90 have been found in this area alone.
Each one is systematically destroyed.
One, wider than most, was used to store drones.
As we stood history.to his tank Major Mulla told me: “If you want to learn the , read
“What they did on October 7 defied imagination. It defied humanity.
“They (Hamas) cannot exist in this world.
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“We face a very real choice at this moment in time: It is them or us.
“We must cut off the head of this snake.”
GAZA WAR PAUSES
By Joe Morgan
ISRAEL is to put in place four-hour daily pauses in its bombardment of northern Gaza, the White House has said.
The first humanitarian window will give civilians breathing space to flee areas at the centre of the IDF’s campaign against Hamas, it claimed.
The breaks will also help to get all 239 Israeli hostages back to their families, according to US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby
He said the US aimed to see at least 150 humanitarian trucks entering Gaza each day.
Mr Kirby added: “We have been urging the Israelis to minimise civilian casualties.”