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IDF suffers one of its deadliest days in Gaza

Eight Israeli soldiers have been killed in a Hamas ambush near the southern end of the Palestinian enclave

Hamas fighters have killed eight Israeli troops in an ambush in southern Gaza, marking one of West Jerusalem’s deadliest incidents in the Palestinian enclave since the war began last October.

The Hamas Al Qassam Brigades said it carried out a “complex ambush” against Israel Defense Forces (IDF) vehicles on Saturday in Tal al-Sultan, located west of Rafah. The incident began with an attack on a military bulldozer, which caught fire. When other Israeli troops arrived to rescue wounded crew members, the Palestinian group struck their armored personnel vehicle, causing more casualties, the Hamas military wing said.

The IDF said the incident is under investigation to review the possible causes. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz paid tribute to the fallen soldiers, saying, “Saturday is hard. Eight of our best sons were killed in Rafah. While knowing the price, they bravely entered Gaza to complete the mission of destroying Hamas and freeing the hostages.”

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Israeli officials have shrugged off international condemnation for pressing ahead with the IDF’s Rafah operation, which has imperiled civilians in a city where more than 1 million Palestinians had taken refuge after their neighborhoods in other parts of the enclave were bombarded. Over 37,000 Palestinians have been killed since the war began, according to the Gaza health authorities. The conflict started when Hamas launched surprise attacks against southern Israeli villages, killing more than 1,100 people and taking hundreds of hostages back to Gaza.

Saturday’s ambush was the deadliest incident for the IDF since January, when 21 soldiers were killed in an explosion that caused two buildings to collapse. More than 300 Israeli troops have perished since the fighting in Gaza started.

The ambush targeted an armored convoy that was reportedly heading toward some buildings captured by the IDF early Saturday morning. Troops in Israel’s 401st Armored Brigade killed around 50 gunmen in an overnight offensive in northwestern Tal al-Sultan, the IDF claimed. The soldiers had planned to rest in the captured buildings.

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June 16, 2024 at 12:55AM

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