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21 soldiers killed in biggest single Israeli loss during Gaza combat, Israeli military says - 134 Views

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21 soldiers killed in biggest single Israeli loss during Gaza combat, Israeli military says

On Monday, the Israeli military reported that twenty-one soldiers were killed in southern Gaza, marking the largest single loss of life for Israeli troops in the conflict with Hamas. The casualties occurred when a tank, guarding Israeli forces, was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG). Two soldiers in the tank lost their lives, and two two-story buildings collapsed due to an explosion, with most casualties located in or near these structures. The buildings likely exploded due to mines laid by Israeli forces in preparation for demolition, according to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it one of the most challenging days since the outbreak of the war, expressing condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers. An investigation into the incident has been initiated by the IDF. The cause of the building explosion is still unclear, and while all families have been notified, only ten names have been released so far. Another soldier sustained serious injuries in the same incident.

The Israeli military has been conducting a large-scale bombing campaign in Gaza since October 7, responding to a Hamas attack that resulted in numerous casualties and hostages in Israel. The conflict has claimed over 1,200 lives in Israel, with more than 250 people taken hostage, over 130 of whom remain in captivity.

The recent incident increases the count of Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza since the commencement of operations to 219.

Over the past weeks, the primary focus of the Israeli military has been in southern Gaza, particularly in intense fighting around the city of Khan Younis. The IDF announced on Monday that it is expanding ground operations to the west of the city.

The IDF stated that it is engaged in combating a terrorist organization that embeds itself within the civilian population. Skilled and experienced units are working to dismantle the Hamas military framework, acknowledging the complexity of the task as Hamas deliberately places itself in locations like hospitals and schools.

Medical facilities in Khan Younis have suffered damage amid the ongoing Israeli assault on the area, according to Palestinian health officials. The death toll in Israel’s siege on Gaza continues to rise.

Despite Israeli officials signaling a shift to a less intense phase of operations in Gaza this month, a humanitarian crisis in the enclave persists. On Monday, the Hamas-controlled health ministry reported that the number of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks in Gaza since October 7 has reached 25,295, with at least 63,000 injuries recorded.

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