3 soldiers killed in Gaza fighting, car-ramming

Three soldiers were killed in action in a battle with Hamas gunmen and in a terror car-ramming on Wednesday.

By World Israel News Staff

Three soldiers were killed in action on Wednesday, with two of them being slain in a terrorist car-ramming outside of Nablus and one falling during a firefight with Hamas operatives in the northern Gaza Strip.

Staff Sgt. Yedidya Azugi, 21, of the Paratrooper Brigade’s 101st Battalion, was killed while fighting Hamas in a battle in Gaza.

From the town of Revava in northern Samaria, Azugi is survived by his parents and five siblings.

Rabbi Uriel Ganzel, who is the community rabbi of Revava, said that Azugi was “a hero, a man of principles, who always had a smile on his face.”

Azugi is the 292nd soldier to be fall in battle in the Gaza Strip since late October 2023, when the Israeli army launched a ground invasion aimed at ousting Hamas from power in the coastal enclave.

On Wednesday evening, Staff Sgt. Eliya Hilel, 20, from Tel Zion, and Staff Sgt. Diego Harsaj, 20, from Tel Aviv, were killed when a terrorist intentionally rammed them with his vehicle at a checkpoint outside of Nablus (Shechem.)

Hilel and Harsaj were conducting security inspections of vehicles on the road outside of the Palestinian Authority-administered city, near the Jewish community of Itamar.

A terrorist, who has not been publicly named, struck Hilel and Harsaj while driving at a high rate of speed. The driver escaped, fleeing to Nablus, though he turned himself into PA security forces several hours later.

Mortally wounded, Hilel and Harsaj were transported to Belinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, where they were later pronounced dead.

“Tonight we received the hard news about [Hilel’s] passing at the hands of a cursed terrorist in Samaria,” Binyamin Regional Council head israel Gantz said in a statement.

Describing Hilel as “one of the best of our youth,” Gantz added that “thanks to him and thanks to his friends, Israel lives and Israel will win.”