(RightIsRight.co) – In a tragic turn of events signaling a significant escalation of tensions in the ongoing war against terrorism, Israel reported the deaths of 21 soldiers near Khan Younis, a city in southern Gaza, marking the military’s deadliest single incident since the conflict’s onset in early October.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) revealed that Hamas fighters launched an RPG missile that killed the soldiers. The soldiers were dismantling infrastructure considered a security threat to Israeli communities when the missile struck. According to the IDF, the explosion collapsed two two-story structures, killing and injuring the troops present.
In the aftermath, field commanders, alongside rescue teams, carried out a complex and challenging operation to evacuate the bodies of the deceased and locate and assist the injured. The IDF believes that subsequent explosions were likely triggered by explosive devices previously installed in the vicinity by IDF soldiers.
Hamas, identified as a Palestinian terrorist group, confirmed it had engaged with Israeli soldiers near Khan Younis through statements on pro-Iranian Telegram channels, mirroring the IDF’s account of the attack.
The devastating loss highlights Hamas’ enduring arms capabilities, demonstrating its resilience and sustained ability to counter Israeli military efforts despite the prolonged conflict. As of a recent January update, Israel’s military operation in Gaza, which began in late October, has resulted in the deaths of 188 soldiers, with an additional 425 hospitalized, 41 of whom are in severe condition.
IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari emphasized the war’s heavy toll, acknowledging the sacrifices made by reservists who responded to the call of duty, underscoring their commitment to Israel’s security.
Israel’s current military strategy to counter Hamas involves concentrating its efforts on the southern coastal strip and Khan Younis, aiming for the complete defeat of the terrorist organization and the rescue of approximately 130 hostages still held within the territory.