Gaza Invasion Claims the Lives of First Israeli Soldiers

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On Tuesday, two Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers were killed while fighting in Gaza, the first fatal casualties the IDF has taken in the invasion of the Hamas-held territory.

Israel Defense Forces says that two Israeli soldiers died in fighting on Tuesday. This is the first time since Israel started its ground operations in Gaza, that there have been such casualties.

Israel relied primarily on airstrikes, artillery, and other means of retaliation until this week to respond to the Hamas massacre that took place in Israel on October 7th. This week, the IDF expanded its ground operations, but troops now face a deadly task: clearing out Hamas’ tunnels and fortified positions.

Both of the soldiers who died were 20 years old. In the same battle, at least two Israeli soldiers were also wounded.

Israeli leaders have promised to eliminate Hamas from Gaza. Benjamin Netanyahu rejected calls for a truce in his Monday speech.

It is important to note that to achieve the stated goal of eliminating Hamas in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces must conduct offensive operations within urbanized areas. These are some of the most difficult offensive missions any military organization can perform, but they also offer advantages to the defenders. Israel Defense Forces tanks are equipped with “cope-cages” to prevent items dropped from above from hitting the thin armor of the tank.

There are many difficulties in attacking urban areas. Modern main battle tanks like the Merkava, which is still the standard IDF tank, are designed to first fight other tanks on open terrain and then to support infantry. Infantry is needed to protect armor in urban areas from attacks such as RPGs, improvised explosives, and other means. This type of operation requires a well-coordinated plan and solid communication among all units.

Israel will likely suffer significant losses in this operation. Israel has still refused to accept any sort of ceasefire.

“Calls to cease fire are calls to Israel to submit to Hamas. To surrender to terrorism. To surrender to barbarism.” Netanyahu stated that this would not be the case.

“Ladies, gentlemen. The Bible states that there are times for peace and war. It is time to go to war. “A war for our future together,” he added. “Today, we draw a clear line between forces of civilization and forces of barbarism. Now is the time to choose your side. Israel will fight barbarism to the end. “I hope and pray civilized nations will support this fight.”

The atrocities of October 7th were the worst attacks Israel has experienced since 1948. Israel should take the necessary steps to prevent such an attack from happening again. All indications show that both the Israeli government, as well as the Israel Defense Forces, will do so.