21 Soldiers Killed In Gaza as Buildings Collapse

The IDF has announced the deaths of 21 soldiers who were killed in an incident in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday, during which two buildings collapsed following RPG fire and a large explosion.

The IDF has announced the deaths of 21 soldiers who were killed in an incident in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday, during which two buildings collapsed following a large explosion, and a tank was apparently hit by an RPG.

It was the single deadliest incident since the start of Israel’s ground offensive in the enclave, and raised the military death toll in the operation to 219.

Their names were:

– Sergeant Major (res.) Itamar Tal, 32, from Mesilot.

– Sergeant Major (res.) Adam Bismut, 35, from Karnei Shomron.

– Sergeant Major (res.) Shay Biton Hayun, 40, from Zichron Yaakov.

– Sergeant Major (res.) Zegeye Danielk Kasau, 38, from Yokneam Ilit.

– Sergeant Major (res.)Matan Lazar, 32, from Haifa.

– Sergeant first class (res.)Hadar Kapeluk, 23, from Mevo Beitar.

– Sergeant Major (res.)Sergey Gontmaherr, 37, from Ramat Gan.

– Sergeant first class (res.)Elkana Yehuda Sfez, 25, from Kiryat Arba.

– Sergeant first class (res.)Yuval Lopez, 27, from Alon Shvut.

– Master sergeant (res.)Yoav Levi, 29, from Yehud-Monosson.

– Sergeant first class (res.)Nicholas Berger, 22, from Jerusalem.

– Sergeant first class (res.)Cydrick Garin, 23, from Tel Aviv-Yafo.

– Sergeant Major (res.)Rafael Elias Mosheyoff, 33, from Pardes Hanna-Karkur.

– Sergeant Major (res.)Barak Haim Ben Valid, 33, from Rishon Lezion.

– Sergeant First Class (res.) Ahmad Abu Latif, 26, from Rahat.

Captain (res.) Nir Binyamin, 29, from Givatayim.

Master Sergeant (res.) Elkana Vizel, 35, from Bnei Dekalim.

Sergeant First Class (res.) Israel Socol, 24, from Karnei Shomron.

Captain (res.) Ariel Mordechay Wollfstal, 28, from Elazar.

Sergeant First Class (res.) Sagi Idan, 24, from Rosh Ha’ayin.

Sergeant major Mark Kononovich, 35, from Herzliya.

IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari said that the remaining families of the fallen soldiers have been notified. 556 IDF soldiers have been killed since the start of the war on October 7. More than 200 of them have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the ground maneuver began on October 27.

An initial investigation of the disaster found that a force made of infantry, the engineering corps and the armored corps arrived on Monday morning for the task of clearing the area in the buffer strip that the Gaza Division is establishing these days.

Engineering forces were booby trapping ten two-story buildings located a little more than half a kilometer from the Gazan side of the border as others were securing the activity. At around 4:00 p.m., a terrorist approached the scene after coming out of a tunnel shaft and fired an RPG type missile at a tank that secured the operation. Two soldiers were killed and two were wounded.

At the same time, an anti-tank missile was fired at two building where dozens of soldiers were staying. According to estimates, the explosion of the missile in the building caused the trap to explode and the buildings to collapse on the soldiers.

The commander of the southern brigade of the Gaza Division, Lt. Col. Tal Ashur, who commanded over the operation, called in military rescue forces in large numbers, and the rescue operations lasted for many hours.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “Yesterday, we experienced one of the most difficult days since the outbreak of the war. The IDF has launched an investigation into the disaster. We must learn the necessary lessons and do everything to preserve the lives of our soldiers. In the name of our heroes, for the sake of our lives, we will not stop fighting until absolute victory.”

President Isaac Herzog wrote that “behind every name whose world has fallen apart – a family that we take to our hearts with sorrow and pain, and at the same time with pride – for the heroism of the generation.”

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated, “On this difficult and painful morning, the most tragic news reached many homes in Israel; our hearts are with the dear families in their most difficult time. This is a war that will determine the future of Israel for decades to come – the fall of the fighters is a requirement to achieve the goals of the war.

“I send my condolences from the bottom of my heart to the families of the victims of the campaign and best wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.”

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