update deskIsrael at War

IDF soldier killed, 12 wounded in Khan Yunis ambush

Israeli troops continue raids in Qatari-funded housing development.

Oketz canine unit member Staff Sgt. David Sasson, 21, who was killed in action in the southern Gaza Strip on March 6, 2024. Credit: IDF.
Oketz canine unit member Staff Sgt. David Sasson, 21, who was killed in action in the southern Gaza Strip on March 6, 2024. Credit: IDF.

An IDF soldier was killed and 13 others were wounded in two battles in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, the army said.

The death of Oketz canine unit member Staff Sgt. David Sasson, 21, from Ganot Hadar, near Netanya, brings the number of slain soldiers since the start of the Gaza ground incursion on Oct. 27 to 247, and the total number of soldiers killed in action on all fronts since the start of the war on Oct. 7 to 587.

Twelve other fighters were wounded in the incidents on Wednesday, including two seriously, which according to an initial IDF probe, involved an ambush by several Hamas terrorists during a raid on a multi-story building in the Qatari-funded Hamad City residential complex in Khan Yunis.

The soldiers from the Oketz unit and the Commando Brigade were hit by gunfire, rocket-propelled grenades and an additional explosive device. Several of the Hamas terrorists were killed by the troops and in airstrikes in the area.

Another soldier was seriously wounded in another battle in the southern Gaza Strip.

The casualties come as Israeli forces continue to target Hamad City, finding a weapons manufacturing facility, explosive devices, military equipment, tunnel shafts and command centers, according to the IDF’s Thursday morning update on the 153rd day of the war.

Troops are also active elsewhere in the former Hamas stronghold, killing terrorists in Al-Qarara (a town north of Khan Yunis) and in central Khan Yunis.

Meanwhile, operations continue in the central Strip, with soldiers killing 10 terrorists in the past day including a cell loading military equipment onto a vehicle near where IDF soldiers were positioned. An Israeli Air Force craft struck the vehicle, killing the squad. Secondary explosions suggested a large quantity of weapons were inside the vehicle.

The Hamad City operation began with a massive wave of strikes overnight Saturday, with the Israeli Air Force and IDF Artillery Corps hitting 50 targets within six minutes. Ground forces encircled the luxury complex and created a humanitarian corridor to evacuate thousands of residents, while capturing many terrorism suspects in recent days attempting to hide among the civilian population.

The 7th Brigade, in cooperation with Military Intelligence’s Unit 504—responsible for human intelligence—and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) apprehended some 250 terrorists from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad since beginning operations in the area, the military said on Wednesday.

Some of the terrorists apprehended took part in the Oct. 7 massacre of around 1,200 men, women and children in the western Negev, and some are members of Hamas’s elite Nukhba force, according to the IDF.

“The terrorists are being interrogated and are providing information that assists the continuation of the combat,” the army said.

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