Friendly fire, accidents responsible for 20 IDF casualties in Gaza

Number of IDF soldiers killed in Gaza rises to 105, with 20 of them caused by friendly fire or accidents.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

According to an IDF report released on Monday detailing army casualties since the beginning of the ground operation in Gaza that began on October 27, 20 of the 105 IDF casualties were caused by other IDF soldiers.

Of these ‘friendly fire’ deaths, 13 were caused by IDF soldiers being mistaken for the enemy during attacks involving tanks, shelling, strikes, and gunfire.

The remaining 7 deaths were due to accidents involving armored vehicles, accidental misfires, and unintentional detonation of explosives.

The IDF has investigated these cases and has concluded that faulty communication, fatigue, and lack of proper attention to regulations were responsible for these casualties.

The military says it is learning lessons from these unfortunate deaths and will implement solutions to prevent similar issues in the future.

In addition to the 105 casualties, 582 soldiers have been wounded in the ground operation — including 133 seriously, 218 moderately, and 231 lightly, according to IDF data from Monday.

Israel resumed the ground war in Gaza in early December after a weeklong ceasefire that saw the release of 110 hostages.

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The dense, urban terrain has been treacherous for the IDF and includes a complex network of terror tunnels, many of which are trapped with explosives, underneath mosques, schools, and hospitals.

The past week has seen some of the heaviest fighting so far in the war, with the IDF targeting several Hamas strongholds in northern and southern Gaza.

Among other targets, the IDF attacked Khan Younis, which is like a “cradle” of Hamas given the area’s connection with much of Hamas’ leadership.

“The entire leadership of the Hamas terror organization — political and military — grew up in the area of ​​the city of Khan Younis, including Yahya Sinwar, Muhammad Sinwar, and Mohammed Deif. Now the city is surrounded by the 98th Division,” the IDF said.