The Israeli military on Tuesday suffered one of its highest single-day casualty counts since Israel began its ground invasion of Gaza in late October: Ten soldiers were killed in combat in the north of the enclave, the military said.
Israeli military radio reported that nine of the soldiers had been killed in heavy fighting in Shajaiye, a neighborhood in Gaza City that has been a focus of combat in recent days, as the military pushes to root out Hamas fighters from the enclave. The Israeli news media called the episode an ambush.
Most of the casualties on Tuesday were infantry fighters, but they included a colonel and a lieutenant colonel, the highest-ranking Israeli officers killed since the invasion began, according to the Israeli military.
Although Israel has extended its ground invasion into southern Gaza this month, heavy fighting is ongoing in northern Gaza. Since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 assault on southern Israel, which Israeli officials say killed 1,200 people, 444 Israeli soldiers have lost their lives, according to the country’s military. About quarter of those casualties have occurred since Israel started its ground invasion, the military said.
At the same time, over 15,000 Palestinians, many of them women and children, have died amid Israel’s retaliatory military campaign, according to the Gazan health ministry. Gazan health officials do not distinguish between civilians and Hamas fighters in their death tolls.