During Monday’s assault on Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, 21 soldiers were killed, according to Israeli military authorities who confirmed the news on Tuesday. For Israeli forces, this attack was the deadliest since the Hamas-led massacre on October 7, which ignited the war.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his sorrow at the loss of life in a Monday speech in which he described the previous day as one of the most difficult since the war started. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have recorded three separate casualties on Monday, bringing the total number of losses to 217 since the ground combat began in late October.
The Israeli military reported that a jihadist opened fire on a tank in downtown Gaza with a rocket-propelled grenade while reservists were getting ready to demolish two buildings. Bombs detonated by the rocket caused the two-story buildings to collapse, trapping the soldiers below.
There have been renewed calls for a ceasefire, but Monday’s strike might constitute a major setback. Netanyahu has stated that the Israeli Defense Forces will continue their conflict with Hamas until they win complete triumph.
Within hours of the operation’s announcement, ground forces encircled the southern city of Khan Younis, according to the Israeli military. This city is suspected to be hiding places for Hamas officials.
The city, the second largest in Gaza, has been the scene of severe fighting in recent days. Knesset members and others across the world have pressured Israeli authorities to liberate the remaining hostages by negotiating a fresh ceasefire.
According to an Egyptian official who spoke with the Associated Press, Israel has proposed a two-month ceasefire in order to free the remaining detainees. To get senior Hamas officials out of Gaza, Israel would release more Palestinians from Israeli prisons and allow them to go abroad.
The person, who requested anonymity because of restrictions on his communication with the media, said that Hamas declined the offer. In contrast, Hamas has promised not to release any more prisoners until Israel leaves Gaza and ceases its attack.