Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack since January

15 June 2024, 16:55 | Updated: 15 June 2024, 17:46

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza - as Palestinian death toll reaches '37,000'
Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza - as Palestinian death toll reaches '37,000'. Picture: Alamy

By Danielle de Wolfe

Eight Israeli soldiers have been killed in Southern Gaza, according to the Israeli military.

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The attack, which took place on Saturday morning, is the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in Gaza in recent months.

The eight soldiers died during a blast, which took place in Rafah, according to IDF officials.

The city of Rafah is currently at the centre of an intense Israeli offensive as soldiers attempt to wipe out Hamas in the region.

It comes as the IDF noted it was the most deadly attack on its forces since 21 soldiers died in January.

The deaths will likely fuel calls for a ceasefire and heighten Israeli public anger over ultra-Orthodox exemptions from the military.

Israel continues its attempts to free the remaining hostages seized on the 7th of October.
Israel continues its attempts to free the remaining hostages seized on the 7th of October. Picture: Alamy

Israel continues its attempts to free the remaining hostages seized on the 7th of October.

It's believed all eight soldiers were inside an armoured vehicle at the time of the incident.

The IDF has now identified one of the victims as Captain Wassem Mahmoud, 23, of the Combat Engineering Corps' 601st Batallion.

The IDF has said the families of the other seven soldiers have been informed and will be named in due course.

Read more: International Court of Justice orders Israel to halt Rafah attack, with situation in southern Gaza city 'disastrous'

Read more: Joe Biden outlines Israel's ceasefire and hostage proposal to Hamas: 'It's time to end this war'

It comes shortly after Joe Biden outlined a new proposal from Israel to end the ongoing conflict in Gaza, saying "it's time for this war to end".

The IDF has now identified one of the victims as Captain Wassem Mahmoud, 23, of the Combat Engineering Corps' 601st Batallion.
The IDF has now identified one of the victims as Captain Wassem Mahmoud, 23, of the Combat Engineering Corps' 601st Batallion. Picture: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

More than 37,000 Palestinians have now died in the region since the start of the war, according to figures released from Hamas-run health authorities.

Months of ceasefire negotiations have failed to find common ground between Israeli and Hamas.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Hamas proposed changes to a US-backed plan, some of which he said were "workable" and some not, without elaborating.

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