update deskIsrael at War

IDF announces deaths of two more soldiers in Gaza

Master Sgt. (res.) Ido Aviv, 28, and Master Sgt. (res.) Kalkidan Meharim, 37, were killed in battle in central Gaza.

Israel Defense Forces activity in the Gaza Strip, April 23, 2024. Credit: IDF.
Israel Defense Forces activity in the Gaza Strip, April 23, 2024. Credit: IDF.

The Israel Defense Forces announced on Monday evening the deaths of two reservists in an explosion during a battle in the central Gaza Strip.

They were identified as Master Sgt. (res.) Ido Aviv, 28, of the Yiftah Armored Brigade’s 9232nd Battalion, from Karmiel, and Master Sgt. (res.) Kalkidan Meharim, 37, of the Carmeli Infantry Brigade’s 223rd Battalion, from Petah Tikva.

Another soldier was seriously wounded in the fighting.

Since the launch of Israel’s ground operation in the Strip on Oct. 27, 263 soldiers have been killed fighting the Hamas terror organization.

On Monday evening, terrorists in northern Gaza launched a rocket towards the city of Sderot, which was successfully intercepted. Two additional projectiles fired at Ashdod fell in the sea.

In response, Israeli Air Force fighter jets attacked tunnel shafts, an anti-tank missile launch site and other terror infrastructure in the area from which the rocket was fired.

In central Gaza, troops of the Yiftah Brigade located a “terrorist observing them from a military building” and called in an air strike to eliminate the threat.

Two additional terrorists converging on the soldiers were killed in a separate strike.

Earlier this month, the Israel Defense Forces withdrew all ground troops from southern Gaza, leaving only the Nahal Infantry Brigade remaining in the coastal enclave to secure the Netzarim corridor in the central Strip.

Israel’s military said on Wednesday that it was readying to deploy the Yiftah and Carmeli reserve brigades to central Gaza to free up the Nahal troops as preparations continue for a ground invasion of Rafah, including evacuating noncombatants to a humanitarian zone.

The Israeli government will decide within the next 72 hours whether to launch a military operation to eliminate Hamas’s terror battalions in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, Ynet reported on Tuesday.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi has reportedly approved final plans for the operation, which will be accompanied by the evacuation of the city’s Palestinian civilian population.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Saturday that the offensive in Rafah would be suspended if a deal to free abductees held in Gaza is secured.

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