Israeli warplanes destroyed a large Hamas research unit and an extensive network of terror tunnels, the Daily Mirror can show.
More than 20 senior and medium-sized Hamas commanders were also killed in the Israeli lightning bolt known as Operation Guardian of the Walls.
The Hamas research and development unit has been hunted by Israel for years while trying to develop new weapons, drones, missiles and cyber technology.
A source, a security officer involved in the last eleven-day campaign, said the research was rolled back years after the target.
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The Israeli official, named “A” said, “The point was that we downgrade your skills and the R to D.
Unity was essential in our calculations.
“We knew they were developing new methods, including drones, to hit targets like power plants, which would convey a message.
“Much of our campaign was dedicated to targeting this unit. In the past, they have even launched command raids on beaches outside of Gaza. “
“A” revealed that scientists and researchers were killed in the strikes.
The tunnels were 60 miles long and comprised concrete bunkers.
He said, “The campaign set you back years. It cost her a lot of money.
“The tunnels were strategically very important and we hit them. But we know they can be rebuilt. “
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Yesterday, on the sixth day of the armistice, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken flew to Jerusalem to strengthen talks between Israel and Palestinians.
248 Palestinians were killed in the fighting, including 66
Children, while 12 were killed in Israel, including two children.
“A” said, “Whenever civilians die, children, it makes me very sad.
“Of course we try to avoid that at all costs. We have families too.
“The fight against terrorism that is anchored in the population is very difficult.”
“A” said Hamas and Islamic Jihad are hiding in the population and “want civilians to die” in order to serve their political goals.
The affected Gaza Strip has been under a crippling blockade between Israel and Egypt since Hamas came to power.
In addition to the dire death toll, 2,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed and 15,000 damaged after Israel air strikes struck the Palestinian enclave.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a “very powerful” reaction if Hamas breaks the ceasefire.
After their meeting, Antony Blinken said the US was working to address the “dire humanitarian situation”.
The war was started because of fears that more Palestinians would be displaced to make way for Israeli settlers.