Israel says 21 soldiers killed in deadliest day of ground war


JERUSALEM: The Israeli army said Tuesday that 21 soldiers had been killed in Gaza the day before, the biggest single-day toll since the start of its ground operation on October 27.

Most of the soldiers were killed when rocket-propelled grenade fire hit a tank and a building they were trying to blow up, military spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a televised statement.

Hagari said several of the troops killed were reservists.

“We worked to find the victims until the last hours,” Hagari said, indicating the difficulty in extracting bodies buried under the rubble.

Israel began a sweeping offensive in Gaza after the Palestinian fighter group, Hamas, attacked southern Israel on October 7 after decades of Israel’s atrocities.

Israel’s blistering offensive in Gaza has killed 25,295 people, most of them women, children and adolescents, according to the health ministry of the Hamas-run territory.

Israel army probing ‘disaster’ of 21 killed soldiers: Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that the army had launched an investigation into the “disaster” that led to the deaths of 21 soldiers in Gaza a day before.

“The IDF (Israeli army) has launched an investigation of the disaster. We must learn the necessary lessons and do everything to preserve the lives of our warriors,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

The 21 “reservists” were among a total of 24 soldiers killed in Gaza on Monday, the Israeli army’s biggest single-day losses since the start of its ground operation on October 27, military spokesman Daniel Hagari said.__The News