Eight Israeli Soldiers Killed In One Of Single Deadliest Incidents Since Oct 7

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Jun 16, 2024 - 07:45 PM

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Saturday suffered a mass casualty event in southern Gaza after a Hamas attack scored a direct hit on an armored vehicle which was carrying a group of soldiers.

Eight Israeli solders were killed after the infantry transport vehicle was hit by an anti-tank missile, the IDF said, in what's being widely called one of the single deadliest single incidents involving Israeli soldier casualties since October 7. The military said it may have also been the result of an explosive device planted in the area.

IDF file image, AFP/Getty

The IDF said the troops were engaged in an offensive against "terrorist infrastructure" shortly after 5am Sunday in the northwestern part of the Tal al-Sultan refugee camp, which lies just west of Rafah. They were part of the Combat Engineering Corps' 601st Battalion and all ranged in age from 19 to 23.

"According to the information we have at this point one of the engineering vehicles in the convoy was involved in an explosion that was apparently caused by explosive devices planted in the area or as a result of anti-tank missile fire," IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari described in a press briefing.

While the findings are still preliminary, military investigators believe there's a possibility that the explosion was so devastating because the anti-tank found ignited explosive material aboard the armored vehicle.

"The current assessment is that the ‘Nemera’ armored vehicle got hit as a result of an explosion of a side bomb. In addition, on the vehicle there were engineering tools that include explosive materiel," the IDF statement said.

"The explosion was significant and may have been caused by the ignition of the explosive materiel on the vehicle. All this is not supposed to happen and therefore the incident is being examined," Hagari continued.

He further explained that the blast and fire was so expansive that it was difficult to identify and locate the bodies of those killed.

"Today we received another painful reminder of the price of war and that brave warriors and heroes were willing to sacrifice their lives for the state of Israel, which is the common home of all of us: Druze, Jews, Bedouin, Muslims and Christians. All citizens of Israel, our hearts and thoughts are with the families at this difficult time," Hagari added, it what appeared wording geared toward pushing back against international criticism of a Jewish ethno-religious state.

Al Jazeera has aired footage of the destroyed "Namer" Israeli personnel carrier being towed out of southern Gaza...

Meanwhile, Hamas and its supporters appeared to positively celebrate the mass troops casualties. The group issued a statement saying "Our painful strikes against the enemy will continue everywhere they are present, and the occupying army will find nothing but death traps."

Hamas' al Qassam Brigades confirmed it had "carried out a complex ambush against enemy vehicles" operating in Tal al-Sultan. According to its account, the attack started by successfully hitting a military bulldozer which caught fire. The initial rescue troops on the scene were then struck by the anti-tank missile.