TEL AVIV – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on Monday evening, July 28, sharing the grief of the families of IDF soldiers who have fallen in the war against Hamas and outlining Israel’s strategy to defeat Hamas.
“There is no more just war than this one that our heroic sons are fighting. They have fallen in defense of the nation and we all mourn their passing” said the Israeli PM.
Five IDF soldiers were killed in combat in an attempted Hamas terrorist infiltration into Israel near Nahal Oz on Monday evening. Between four to seven Hamas terrorists emerged from a tunnel dug near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, firing an anti-tank missile at the position of Israeli soldiers, killing Sgt. Nadav Raimond, 19; Sgt. Daniel Kedmi, 18; Sgt. Barkey Ishai Shor, 21; Sgt. Sagi Erez, 19; and Sgt. Dor Dery, 18.
According to media reports, a Hamas gunman tried to drag one of the soldier’s bodies back into the tunnel.
IDF soldiers spotted the terror squad from a lookout tower and fired at them, killing at least one gunman and thereby thwarting the attack as the remaining Hamas terrorists fled back to the tunnel, leaving behind their Kalashnikov rifles and anti-tank missiles.
The Palestinian Safa News Agency, reported that the military wing of Hamas stated that the conditions on-the-ground had not allowed the terror squad to complete its mission.
Also on Monday, five other IDF soldiers were killed; four by mortar fire along the Gaza border – Staff Sgt. Eliav Eliyahu Haim Kahlon, 22, Staff Sgt. Adi Briga, 23; Cpl. Meidan Maymon Biton, 20; Cpl. Niran Cohen, 20. Another soldier, Staff Sgt. Moshe Davino, 20, of Jerusalem was killed in combat in the southern Gaza Strip.
Gaza terrorists misfired rockets from civilian areas around 5 PM on Monday evening, hitting a hospital and refugee camp in the Gaza Strip instead of its intended target of Israeli civilians. Al-Shifa Hospital and the Al-Shati Refugee Camp were struck by failed Gaza rocket attacks.
According to the IDF, Israel hit 150 targets in the Gaza Strip overnight. The IDF targeted two concealed rocket launchers and a weapon manufacturing site in the northern and central Gaza Strip. The home of Hamas leader and millionaire, Ismail Haniyeh was also hit yesterday as were Hamas satellite television and radio stations.
Rocket sirens were heard through Israel on Monday night including Tel Aviv and the metropolitan areas. One rocket fell near an open area near Rishon Letzion, while another was intercepted over Ashdod. On Tuesday morning, rocket alerts were sounded in Israeli communities on the Gaza border and a mortar rocket fell in the Eshkol Regional Council, causing no damages.
Commenting on the terror tunnels yesterday, Netanyahu stated: “We are, at present, continuing to take action to neutralize and strike at the terrorist tunnels. We will not complete the mission, we will not complete the operation, without neutralizing the tunnels, the sole purpose of which is the destruction of our civilians and the killing of our children.”
“Hamas has violated every ceasefire proposal. We face a cruel enemy whose brutality is directed not only against us, against our civilians, but is also directed against his own civilians. It exploits their civilians in order for there to be more and more victims even as they send fire and death toward us.”