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Explosions and over 20 killed: Hamas launches new attack on IDF in Gaza Strip

Explosions and over 20 killed: Hamas launches new attack on IDF in Gaza Strip Hamas launches new attack on IDF in Gaza Strip (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Hamas militants launched a new attack on Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip on January 22. They fired at an IDF armored personnel carrier (APC), and after the second explosion, two buildings, which were slated for demolition, collapsed while still housing military personnel, resulting in the death of 21 individuals, according to The Times of Israel.

"Twenty-one Israeli soldiers were killed Monday when they came under attack in the southern Gaza Strip, triggering a blast that collapsed two buildings with soldiers inside them," the military reported on January 23.

As journalists clarify, the buildings were being prepared for demolition by the military when Palestinian militants opened fire with RPGs at a tank guarding the forces. Subsequently, a second explosion occurred in the buildings, possibly from another grenade launcher, leading to their collapse.

"It was the single deadliest incident since the start of Israel’s ground offensive in the enclave, and raised the military death toll in the operation to 219," notes The Times of Israel.

At a press conference on Tuesday morning, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari stated that the troops were operating approximately 600 meters from the border, opposite the southern Israeli community of Kissufim.

"At around 4 PM, an RPG was fired by gunmen at a tank securing the forces, and simultaneously, an explosion occurred in two two-story buildings. The buildings collapsed due to this explosion, while most of the forces were inside and near them," he said.

Hagari mentioned that the explosion in the buildings was likely the result of mines laid by the troops for further demolition, but the cause of the explosion is still under investigation. It is possible that a second grenade launcher reached the building.

IDF revealed the names of the 17 soldiers who died in the incident, all of whom were reservists. An additional three soldiers were killed in combat Monday as part of a stepped-up assault on the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.

Israel war

On October 7, 2023, Hamas militants launched a massive invasion into Israel, seizing hundreds of hostages during the attack. In response, Jerusalem initiated a military operation against the terrorists, particularly in the Gaza Strip.

Later, during a hostage exchange, the terrorists released about 120 individuals, and Israel released a group of Palestinian prisoners.

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlined three conditions for ending the war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

As previously reported by The Wall Street Journal, Israeli forces have eliminated 20 to 30% of Hamas militants, which does not yet meet Israel's goal of destroying the group.