21 IDF Soldiers Killed While Rigging Gaza Buildings for Demolition, Hamas Triggered Explosions With RPG

Chris Menahan
Jan. 23, 2024

Twenty-one Israeli soldiers were killed on Monday while rigging Gaza buildings for demolition after having their own mines blow up on them in a chain reaction triggered by a Hamas RPG.

From The Times of Israel, "IDF chief vows 'in-depth' probe of deadly blast caused by Hamas operatives' RPG fire":
As the chief of the Israel Defense Forces vowed Tuesday to carry out an “in-depth” investigation into a deadly blast in the Gaza Strip a day earlier, which killed 21 soldiers, the military released new details of its initial probe of the incident.

The explosion on Monday afternoon, which collapsed two buildings on soldiers about 600 meters from the Israeli border, close to the community of Kissufim, 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.

According to new details from the IDF’s investigation, Hamas operatives fired an RPG missile at one of the buildings while hiding in a nearby plantation.

The two buildings had been rigged up with around 20 mines for detonation, as part of the army’s efforts to establish a buffer zone between Israel and Gaza, which the IDF has said is aimed at enabling residents of Israeli border communities to return to their homes. The buffer zone is thought to be aimed at giving the army a clearer view of the Strip to prevent potential infiltration attempts.

The RPG fire from a few dozen meters away likely set off the mines, causing the structures to collapse and killing 19 soldiers inside and near them, the IDF’s probe said.

An IDF tank guarding the operation spotted the Hamas operatives and was about to return fire, but before it managed to do so, the gunmen fired another RPG, hitting the tank and killing two troops.
"Twenty-four Israeli soldiers were killed in Israel's worst day of losses in Gaza [on Monday]," Reuters reported, citing the Israeli military.

Hamas shared video of the attack online:

IDF soldiers have been sharing ghoulish celebratory videos of themselves demolishing buildings in Gaza as part of their ethnic cleansing campaign aimed at making the region uninhabitable.


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