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Day 249: Four IDF soldiers killed by booby trap as IDF deepens Rafah operation

Death toll rises to 295 since the start of the IDF’s ground operation

IDF soldiers in Rafah, June 2024 (Photo: IDF).

Four Israeli soldiers were killed and six others were wounded when a booby-trapped building collapsed on them in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, Israel Defense Forces announced on Tuesday morning.

The fallen soldiers were identified as Maj. Tal Pshebilski Shaulov (24) from Gedera, Staff Sgt. Eitan Karlsbrun (20) from Modi’in, Sgt. Almog Shalom (19) from Hamadia, and Sgt. Yair Levin (19) from Givat Harel.

Levin was the grandson of former Likud Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin.

The four deaths bring the death toll to 295 since the start of the IDF’s ground operation in the Gaza Strip.

Six other soldiers, all serving in the Givati Brigade reconnaissance unit, were wounded, including an officer and four soldiers, who are reportedly in serious condition.

IDF soldier in Rafah, June 2024 (Photo: IDF).

Army Radio reported that the incident took place as a training force of the Givati recon unit took part in the operation in the Shabura neighborhood, the location where the IDF freed the two hostages Fernando Marman and Luis Har in February.

The troops were tasked with clearing a 3-story building and threw a concussive charge inside, which was supposed to activate booby-traps before the soldiers entered the building.

However, the device apparently failed, and the building exploded and collapsed on the soldiers as they began to enter it.

After a complex rescue mission to free the soldiers from the collapsed ruins, four were found dead and the others were evacuated by helicopters which, for the first time, landed in the recently-captured Philadelphi Corridor.

Other forces later found an underground shaft with stairs under the building which, together with other intelligence, indicated it had been the home of a senior Hamas operative.

Meanwhile, the Givati Brigade continued its operations under the command of the 162nd Division in Rafah, which recently completed the takeover of the Philadelphi Corridor running along the Egyptian border.

Over the past two days, Givati troops eliminated several squads of armed terrorists in short-range exchanges and located an IED, while the 215th Fire Brigade directed an aircraft to eliminate a Hamas sniper who posed an imminent threat to Israeli soldiers on the ground.

In central Gaza, troops of the 98th Commando Division continued their operations in the area of the so-called central camps, including Nuseirat, where the IDF recently freed four Israeli hostages.

In nearby Deir al-Balah and al-Bureij, the troops destroyed several tunnel routes in cooperation with the elite combat engineers commando Yahalom. The Kfir Brigade battlegroup located weapons and arrested a number of terrorists.

During the fighting, soldiers of the 101st Paratroopers Battalion used a drone to detect a terrorist coming out of a shaft with an RPG. The fighters attacked the shaft and eliminated the terrorist with gunfire and tank support from the 77th Armored Battalion.

Forces of the 7th Brigade battlegroup, fighting in the east of al-Bureij, eliminated several terrorists, including some Nukhba terrorists who allegedly took part in the Oct. 7 attack.

They also destroyed rocket launch sites and launchers and raided a Hamas training complex and destroyed it.

Over the past day, aircraft and fighter jets of the Air Force attacked and destroyed around 35 terrorist targets throughout the Gaza Strip, including military buildings, depots, launch sites, observation posts and terrorist squads.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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