IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari reported this morning that 21 reserve soldiers fell in the Gaza Strip yesterday. They were killed when explosives they laid in order to raze buildings some 600 meters from the Israeli settlement of Kissufim, as part of the effort to establish a buffer zone between Israel and the Gaza Strip, were apparently set off by RPG fire from Hamas operatives. Seven more soldiers injured in the explosion, two of them severely, have been transferred to hospital sin Israel. The IDF is investigating the incident, the deadliest in the current campaign so far.
Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant said, "On this hard morning, the bitter tidings have reached many homes in Israel. The hearts of all of us are with the dear families in this most difficult hour. This is a war that will determine the future of Israel for decades to some. The fall of the warriors commands us to achieve the goals of the fighting."
The deaths of the 21 soldiers yesterday bring to 219 the number of IDF personnel killed in the Swords of Iron war.
In Yemen, US and UK forces attacked eight Houthi targets yesterday. A statement from the Pentagon in Washington said: "Our aim remains to de-escalate tensions and restore stability in the Red Sea, but let us reiterate our warning to Houthi leadership: we will not hesitate to defend lives and the free flow of commerce in one of the world's most critical waterways in the face of continued threats."
In the effort to free the hostages taken captive by Hamas in the attack on October 7 last year, Israel is reported by US news website Axios, citing two Israeli sources, to have proposed to Hamas, through Egyptian and Qatari intermediaries, a ceasefire of up to two months as part of a multi-stage agreement that will include the hostages’ release.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 23, 2024.
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