IDF Soldier Killed, Another Wounded in Clash with Hamas in Rafah

IDF Soldier Killed, Another Wounded in Clash with Hamas in Rafah
Sgt. Ori Itzchak Hadad

The death toll among Israeli troops since the start of the Gaza ground incursion on Oct. 27 now stands at 317.


Israel Defense Forces Sgt. Ori Itzchak Hadad, 21, from Beersheva, was killed while fighting Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip, the military announced on Monday.

Hadad served as a combat soldier in the Nahal Infantry Brigade’s 931st Battalion, which has been conducting targeted counterterrorism raids on Hamas hideouts in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah in recent days.

He studied at the Hesder Yeshivah in Itamar, Samaria.

“Unfortunately, our beloved student Ori Hadad fell in an incident in Rafah today,” Arutz Sheva cited the school as saying. Hadad is the sixth student from the yeshivah to be killed since the start of the war.

Another fighter from the Nahal Brigade sustained severe wounds in the same attack, the army said, adding that the soldier was evacuated to a hospital for treatment and his family was informed.

Hadad’s death marked the second fatality in the battalion in days, after the IDF announced the death of Sgt. Eyal Shynes, 19, in Rafah on Friday.

The death toll among Israeli troops since the start of the Gaza ground incursion on Oct. 27 now stands at 317, and at 671 on all fronts since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 massacre, according to official military data.

Earlier on Monday, the IDF announced that Nahal troops operating in Rafah, working in cooperation with the Israeli Air Force, neutralized a terrorist who was preparing to fire an anti-tank missile at them.

In the northern Strip, troops under the command of the 98th Division killed several gunmen during close-quarters combat in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood, the Hamas terror stronghold in Gaza City that the IDF conquered in December but has since seen a resurgence in hostile activities.

In addition, Air Force strikes directed by the 98th Division’s forces “eliminated dozens of terrorists and destroyed several sites for the production and storage of weapons” in the north, the army stated.

The IDF also revealed that, on Sunday, soldiers of the 99th Division thwarted a missile attack in central Gaza by ordering an airstrike.

On Monday morning, Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists in the the Khan Younis area of southern Gaza fired a volley of 20 rockets towards Israeli border towns. A number of projectiles stuck open areas in Israel, while air defenses intercepted several others, according to the IDF, which said that no casualties or damage was reported.

Israeli ground forces entered Gaza on Oct. 27 following a weeks-long air campaign in response to the Oct. 7 attacks.

Jerusalem’s stated goals for the war are to destroy Hamas as a military and governing force in Gaza, ensure that it can not threaten Israel again, and return all hostages.

On June 23, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the intense combat in Gaza is winding down and that the IDF would deploy more troops to the Lebanese border amid ongoing Hezbollah attacks.

“The intense phase of the fighting against Hamas is about to end,” the premier said. “It doesn’t mean that the war is about to end, but the war in its intense phase is about to end in Rafah.”

He added that the Israeli military would continue to constantly “mow the grass” in Gaza to prevent the enclave from becoming a threat again.

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