update deskIsrael at War

Two IDF soldiers die in northern Gaza battles

Several other soldiers were seriously wounded in two separate incidents.

Slain Israel Defense Forces soldiers Capt. Roy Miller (left) and Capt. Elay Elisha Lugasi. Credit: IDF.
Slain Israel Defense Forces soldiers Capt. Roy Miller (left) and Capt. Elay Elisha Lugasi. Credit: IDF.

Two Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed fighting the Hamas terrorist organization in the northern Gaza Strip, the military says.

The death of Capt. Elay Elisha Lugasi, 21, a team commander in the 7th “Storm from the Golan” Armored Brigade’s 75th Battalion from Kiryat Shmona, was announced by the army late Wednesday.

Lugasi died during a raid in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood, the Hamas terrorist stronghold in Gaza City that the IDF conquered in December but which has since seen a resurgence in hostile activities.

Lugasi, an only child, was wounded while fighting in the coastal enclave some three months ago but insisted on returning to the front as soon as possible.

Three more troops of the 75th Battalion were seriously wounded in the same incident in which Lugasi was killed, the IDF said, adding that they were evacuated for treatment and their families were informed.

On Thursday morning, the IDF made public the death of Capt. Roy Miller, 21, a platoon commander in the Givati Infantry Brigade’s Rotem Battalion from Herzliya, during a separate incident in northern Gaza.

The slain soldier’s mother, Ariella, eulogized her son in remarks to Ynet: “The soldiers of the platoon, from religious homes, entered Gaza singing ‘Ani Ma’amin‘ [‘I Believe’]. His soldiers, like most of the fighters, both religious and secular, wear patches of the Temple and the Messiah, thereby introducing holiness into the impure Gaza and purifying it.

“We are not a conquering nation—we are returning home. We must learn from the pure soldiers the meaning of unity, a shared destiny and strong faith in the Creator of the world,” added Ariella Miller.

Another officer and a soldier of the Rotem Battalion were seriously wounded in the same incident in which Miller was killed.

Israeli forces operating in Shuja’iyya continue to locate weapons and destroy terrorist infrastructure, the IDF said on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Paratroopers Brigade soldiers identified and demolished more than 50 buildings and tunnels used by Hamas and other terrorist groups in Shuja’iyya, the military said.

Meanwhile, in the center of the Strip, troops of the 99th Division working in tandem with the Israeli Air Force coordinated strikes targeting terrorist squads who posed an immediate threat to forces.

In Gaza’s southernmost Hamas stronghold of Rafah, Air Force fighter jets, at the request of forces of the IDF’s 162nd Division, destroyed several terrorist infrastructures and eliminated gunmen, the army said.

The death toll among Israeli troops since the start of the Gaza ground incursion on Oct. 27 now stands at 322, and at 677 on all fronts since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 massacre, according to official military data.

Additionally, Ch. Insp. Arnon Zamora, a member of the Border Police’s Yamam National Counter-Terrorism Unit, was fatally wounded last month during a mission to rescue four hostages, and civilian defense contractor Liron Yitzhak was mortally wounded in May.

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