An Indian TV crew says it was able to film Palestinian militants setting up a rocket launcher outside a Gaza hotel on Monday.
The video released by India's NDTV appears to show a three-man Hamas rocket team setting up shop in a heavily populated Gaza neighborhood. NDTV reporter Sreenivasan Jain calmly explains from the window of his hotelroom how the emergence of a blue tent became the site of suspicious activity, with men running wires within.
Jain explains that the tent disappeared after an hour and its content was seemingly covered with various bits of camouflage. The next morning Jain reports the team heard a "loud explosion and a whooshing sound" coming from the site just minutes before a 72-hour ceasefire took effect.
Throughout four weeks of fighting, Israel has said Gaza militants fired rockets from densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip, endangering the enclave's population. Though militants have launched thousands of rockets towards Israel in this conflict, both the danger related to being in the vicinity of the launchers and the clandestine manner in which they are assembled have made the sites hard to report on. The sites from which militants fired at their foe therefore often remained well-hidden. As The New York Times photojournalist Tyler Hicks explained in a recent interview about the two weeks he spent in Gaza, he never saw a launching device. "It’s as if they don’t exist," he added.
This is why it's so remarkable that the Indian crew was able to capture the site on tape. "Just as we reported the devastating consequences of Israel's offensive on Gaza's civilians, it is equally important to report on how Hamas places those very civilians at risk by firing rockets deep from the heart of civilian zones," the crew said in its report.
Head over to NDTV for more details of the report.