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24 Israeli Soldiers Killed in Gaza on Monday—Deadliest Day for IDF Since War Began TIME

IDF Announce End Of Intensive Phase Of Israel-Hamas War As Air Strikes Continue

Israel said 24 of its soldiers were killed in Gaza on Monday, marking the worst single-day death toll for the military since the war against Hamas began in October.

At around 4 p.m. local time in central Gaza, militants fired on an Israeli tank and, at the same time, there were massive explosions at two nearby buildings, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said on Tuesday. The resulting blasts near the border fence with Israel killed 21 servicemen.

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“The buildings collapsed as a result of this explosion, while most of the soldiers were inside and around the buildings,” the spokesman said. “The buildings likely exploded from ordnance that our forces set up there to blow up the buildings and the terror infrastructure in the area.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday represented “one of the most difficult days since the start of the war.”

“The IDF has opened an investigation into the disaster,” he said in a statement. “We must draw the necessary lessons and do everything to preserve the lives of our soldiers.”

Israeli forces are advancing deeper into the southern and central parts of Gaza and fighting remains intense. Around 200 Israeli soldiers had been killed in the territory before the latest incident, according to the military.

Also on Tuesday, the army said troops encircled the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis as it expands its offensive. Dozens of Hamas militants were killed in heavy fighting in the area, the military said.

Israel is facing mounting international pressure to wind down the fighting and reach a diplomatic agreement with Hamas—designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and European Union—to release more than 100 hostages still held by the group.

Netanyahu has said the war will continue until Hamas is destroyed and all of the captives are freed. He’s said the best way to achieve the latter goal is to keep putting military pressure on Hamas.

The group killed around 1,200 people when its militants invaded southern Israel from Gaza on Oct. 7. Israel’s retaliatory bombardment and ground assault have left more than 25,000 dead, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.

Marissa Newman / Bloomberg

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