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Day 272: IDF eliminates dozens of terrorists in Rafah and Shejaiya combat, IAF strikes over 50 targets

Two Israeli soldiers fall in battle, bringing death toll in ground op to 324

Israeli soldiers at a staging area not far from the Israeli-Gaza border,July 2, 2024 (Photo: Jamal Awadg/Flash90).

Israel Defense Forces continues its grinding progress in the few remaining active battle zones in the Gaza Strip, while the Air Force (IAF) assisted ground troops by striking over 50 targets in the last 24 hours alone.

The IDF announced the deaths of two more soldiers during the fighting, bringing the death toll from the ground operations in Gaza to 324.

The fallen soldiers were named as Cpt. Elay Elisha Lugasi (21), a commander in the 7th Armored Brigade, from Kiryat Shmona; and Cpt. Roy Miller (21), a commander in the Givati Brigade, from Herzliya.

Five more soldiers were seriously wounded in the two separate gun battles that killed Lugasi and Miller, the IDF said.

As part of the large scale ongoing raid in Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighborhood, IDF troops under the command of the IDF’s 98th Division continued to battle Hamas terrorists both above and below ground on Wednesday, the IDF stated.

Over the last day, troops killed dozens of terrorists in face-to-face encounters, either by tank fire or IAF strikes from above. Several tunnels were found and destroyed, as well.

Soldiers of the Paratrooper Brigade’s battlegroup killed seven terrorists, while the 7th Armored Brigade eliminated a terror squad it ran into during a short-range encounter.

The IDF reported that the paratroopers destroyed over 50 terrorist structures in Shejaiya the day before, discovering many tunnels, weapons and equipment in the area.

In southern Gaza, Nahal Brigade soldiers, under the command of the 162nd Division, used drones to kill several terrorists who posed a threat to Israeli troops operating in the town of Rafah.

While the much-delayed operation in Rafah appears to be slowing down, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi pointed to the IDF's impressive achievements over the past weeks.

"We have killed over 900 terrorists in Rafah, including commanders, battalion leaders and numerous operatives. Our ongoing effort is aimed at attriting them while ensuring we remain energized and determined,” Halevi stated on Wednesday while addressing troops at the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

In central Gaza, the IDF continues to hold the Netzarim Corridor, which divides the Gaza Strip into two areas, allowing troops to have quick entry and exit throughout the enclave.

Forces of the 99th Division controlling the corridor killed several terrorists over the last day and destroyed terrorist structures with IAF strikes.

IAF fighter jets and aircraft eliminated dozens of terrorists and destroyed more than 50 additional terrorist targets throughout the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours, according to the IDF.

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

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