The Israel Defense Forces on Friday released the names of five more soldiers killed in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, bringing the death toll in the week since the start of the ground operation to 24.
Those killed in action against Hamas terrorists in the northern Strip on Thursday were:
• Capt. Beni Wais, 22, a company commander in the 460th Armored Brigade’s 195th Battalion, from Haifa.
• Master Sgt. (res.) Uriah Mash, 41, a soldier in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 52nd Battalion, from Talmon.
• Master Sgt. (res.) Yehonatan Yosef Brand, 28, a soldier in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 52nd Battalion, from Jerusalem.
• Sgt. Maj. (res.) Gil Pishitz, 39, a tank driver in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 9th Battalion, from Harish.
• Staff Sgt. Itay Saadon, 21, a tank commander in the 401st Armored Brigade’s 52nd Battalion, from Har Halutz.
Hamas battalion commander killed
Israel Air Force fighter jets killed Mustafa Dalul, commander of Hamas’s Sabra Tel al-Hawa Battalion, the IDF announced on Friday morning. He was responsible for “managing the combat against IDF troops in the Gaza Strip” since the start of the war, and in recent years held several positions in Hamas’s terror army in Gaza City, the military said.
Israeli forces have killed dozens of Hamas commanders and hundreds of terrorists in Gaza since Oct. 7, when Hamas massacred at least 1,400 people and wounded more than 5,000 during an invasion of the northwestern Negev. The terrorists took over 200 hostages back to the Strip.
The military also said Friday that troops in the elite Yahalom combat engineering unit have started demolishing Hamas tunnels in Gaza.
“The troops uncovered shafts, planted explosives … and neutralized the tunnels,” said the IDF.
IDF continues ground, sea and air strikes
Meanwhile, IDF fighter jets and artillery killed a number of terrorists operating against Israeli soldiers in Gaza on Thursday night. The warplanes also struck terrorist infrastructure.
The Israel Navy, with guidance from ground troops, struck a number of buildings from which shots were fired at soldiers. The naval forces also attacked anti-tank missile launchers.
Fierce battle with terrorists
Soldiers from the Golani Brigade’s 13th Battalion engaged in intense clashes with terrorists in Gaza on Thursday night, the army said.
Terrorists fired anti-tank missiles and detonated several explosive devices thrown at the troops, who fought a “lengthy battle with composure under heavy fire against the terrorists.” During the battle, terrorists attempted to climb onto IDF vehicles and were killed.
Aircraft and artillery, directed by the ground forces, assisted in killing terrorists until the fighting ended.