update deskIsrael at War

Two IDF soldiers killed by IED in tunnel shaft near Rafah

An officer and two other Givati Brigade soldiers were seriously wounded in the incident, according to the Israeli military.

Israeli soldiers operating in the Jabalia area of northern Gaza on May 17, 2024. Credit: IDF.
Israeli soldiers operating in the Jabalia area of northern Gaza on May 17, 2024. Credit: IDF.

Two soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces’ Givati Brigade reconnaissance unit were killed in action in southern Gaza, the army said on Sunday morning.

They were identified as Sgt. First Class Nachman Meir Haim Vaknin, 20, from Eilat; and Sgt. Noam Bittan, 20, from Moshav Yad Rambam.

According to Hebrew media reports, the pair were killed by an explosive device placed in a tunnel shaft east of Rafah, the last Hamas bastion along the Egyptian Sinai border, where the IDF has been operating since earlier this month.

An officer and two other soldiers from the Givate Brigade were seriously wounded in the incident.

Later on Sunday, the IDF announced the death of Maj. Gal Shabbat, 24, a company commander in the Paratroopers Brigade’s 202nd Battalion, from Katzir in northern Israel.

Shabbat died of his wounds after being seriously injured in an exchange of fire with terrorists in northern Gaza on May 15, the military said.

Their deaths bring the total number of troops killed since the Gaza ground operation began on Oct. 27 to 282, and to 630 on all fronts since the start of the war on Oct. 7.

Meanwhile, the IDF said that one rocket was launched from the northern Gaza Strip at Sderot in southern Israel on Sunday morning amid a recent uptick in rocket fire from Gaza in recent weeks as the IDF operates in the Jabalia area to quell a Hamas insurgency.

The projectile was intercepted and there were no reports of damage or injuries.

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