update deskIsrael at War

Netanyahu visits wounded IDF soldiers on Independence Day

Several of the fighters urged the Israeli premier to "continue until the end, until a decisive victory over Hamas."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits wounded IDF soldiers at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, May 14, 2024. Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits wounded IDF soldiers at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, May 14, 2024. Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday visited wounded Israel Defense Forces soldiers at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan.

“It is a privilege to visit our heroic fighters on Independence Day and hear about the strength of spirit of the wounded, who greatly inspire the entire people of Israel to continue fighting until victory,” he said.

The premier also commended hospital staff for their dedicated care and wished the wounded soldiers a quick recovery.

Several of the fighters urged Netanyahu to “continue until the end, until a decisive victory over Hamas.”

The prime minister assured them that he would do so.

According to data from Israel’s Foreign Ministry, since the outbreak of the war on Oct. 7, 2023, the names of 621 IDF casualties have been released for publication. Since the beginning of Israel’s ground operation in Gaza on Oct. 27, 273 soldiers have fallen in combat.

Since the beginning of the war, 3,456 soldiers have been wounded, including 1,689 since Oct. 27. As of Tuesday, 270 soldiers were being treated in hospitals, 33 of them for severe wounds.

Netanyahu’s visit comes as the IDF pushes deeper into Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city and Hamas’s last bastion.

The operation in the city, Hamas’s last bastion in Gaza, began on May 6 and is being carried out in phases. In the first phase, Israeli forces took control of the Rafah Crossing with Egypt and targeted the eastern part of the city, following the evacuation of noncombatants to a humanitarian zone in Al-Mawasi.

The phased nature of the operation allows for it to be paused should a hostage deal be reached with Hamas.

The United States is also opposed to a full-scale invasion of the city, citing concerns about Rafah’s civilian population.

U.S. President Joe Biden told CNN last week that he would freeze a shipment of heavy bombs to Israel should Jerusalem proceed with a wider offensive in Rafah.

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