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5 Israeli Soldiers Killed, 7 Injured

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

The Israeli military said Thursday that five soldiers were killed and seven injured in a friendly fire incident in northern Gaza, amid renewed battles in the area against regrouped Hamas militants. The Israel Defense Forces said it had opened an investigation into the deadly incident, which it said happened when the soldiers were hit by tank cross-fire in Jabalia.

Three of those injured were in serious condition, the IDF added. The troops were members of the 202nd Battalion of the Paratroopers Brigade.

Five Israeli soldiers were killed and another seven were wounded, including three seriously, in an incident of so-called friendly fire in northern Gaza’s Jabaliya yesterday, the military announces.

The slain troops are named as Cpt. Roy Beit Yaakov, Staff Sgt. Gilad Arye Boim, Sgt. Daniel Chemu, Sgt. Ilan Cohen, Staff Sgt. Betzalel David Shashuah.  

The soldiers all served in the Paratroopers Brigade’s 202nd Battalion.

According to an initial IDF probe, a tank operating alongside the paratroopers in the Jabaliya camp fired two shells at a building where they were gathered at around 7 p.m.

The tank forces had arrived at the area in the morning hours, and several hours later, the paratroopers reached the area and established a post in the building. Later in the evening, another group of paratroopers reached the area and notified two of the tanks there that they were entering the building.

The tank forces had later identified a gun barrel from one of the windows of the building and believed it was enemy forces, leading them to fire two shells.

In a nationally televised statement, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant challenged Netanyahu over what he said was a refusal to discuss the issue. He said this would lead to Israel being forced to rule over the Palestinian enclave again, which he said he opposed. We must make tough decisions for the future of our country, favoring national priorities above all other possible considerations, even with the possibility of personal or political costs," Gallant said.

Still, Netanyahu insists the focus must be on invading Rafah, where his troops have intensified operations since calling on residents of the city's east to evacuate last week.

At least 600,000 people have been forced to flee parts of Gaza's southernmost city, where more than one million Palestinians sought shelter, according to the United Nations, with another 100,000 people displaced in northern Gaza.

The U.N.’s top court opens two days of hearings on Thursday into South Africa's call to halt Israeli operations in Rafah.

The tank forces had later identified a gun barrel from one of the windows of the building and believed it was enemy forces, leading them to fire two shells. The incident is being further probed._The Times Of Israel 

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