(Image source from: Reuters.com)
Monday marked the deadliest day for the Israeli army since their ground operation commenced, with 24 soldiers losing their lives in Gaza. Among the casualties were 21 reservists who tragically perished in an explosion caused by mines that had been strategically placed by Israeli forces in order to demolish two buildings. It is believed that a missile fired by Palestinian armed fighters struck a tank in close proximity to the targeted structures. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are currently conducting an investigation into the incident.
Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the IDF's chief spokesman, stated that the reservists were killed in central Gaza near the kibbutz of Kissufim on the Israeli side of the border at approximately 16:00 on Monday (14:00 GMT). These brave individuals were engaged in an operation aimed at facilitating the safe return of southern Israel residents to their homes, following the mass evacuations that took place after the Hamas attack on October 7th. Prior to this tragic event, Israel's military had already confirmed the deaths of three officers in a separate attack in southern Gaza. In response to the devastating loss of life, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his sorrow, describing Monday as one of the most challenging days since the outbreak of the war.
Previously on Twitter, he posted about X. The President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, expressed his deep sorrow upon learning the devastating news, describing the morning as incredibly difficult. Speaking on behalf of the entire nation, he offered his condolences to the affected families and prayed for the recovery of the injured. Israel initiated the conflict with the objective of eradicating Hamas, following multiple incidents where their gunmen caused the deaths of approximately 1,300 individuals, the majority of whom were innocent civilians. Additionally, they took around 250 people hostage, an unprecedented act of aggression.
As stated on the IDF website, the ground invasion that commenced on October 27th has resulted in the death of 217 soldiers. This brings the total number of casualties since October 7th to 545. According to the health ministry run by Hamas, the Israeli military campaign in Gaza has claimed the lives of at least 25,295 people, with a significant number being women and children.