Some IDF casualties were friendly fire, army says as Israeli losses in Gaza rise to 66

The IDF reports it is learning lessons during this difficult campaign and is working to prevent further cases of friendly fire. 

By World Israel News Staff

As soldier casualties increase to 66 in Israel’s ground war against Hamas in Gaza which began on October 27, it has come to light that a number of these deaths were the result of so-called “friendly fire.”

The IDF reports it is learning lessons during this difficult campaign and is working to prevent further cases of friendly fire.

On Monday, the IDF continued to push on with thousands of troops as well as tanks into densely populated Gaza neighborhoods where Hamas enclaves are located, often beneath hospitals, mosques, and other civilian areas.

Starting last weekend, the IDF moved into Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood and the town of Jabaliya, both Hamas strongholds.

Inside a Zeitoun mosque, IDF troops of the 188th Armored Brigade located a rocket production lab as well as explosives and a drone.

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said at a press conference, “I want you to understand: A mosque, in the Zeitoun area, was being used as a lab for making weapons.”

He continued, “Troops enter the mosque, carry out scans, and make sure there are no traps. They head inside this mosque and find a tunnel shaft… and a staircase.” In the basement of the mosque, the troops found “a workshop for making rockets.”

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Meanwhile, the  IDF’s 36th Division in the Gaza Strip is engaged in combat with Hamas’ Zeitoun brigade. The troops are fighting Hamas operatives and uncovering terrorist infrastructure located on civilian sites.

The fighting is intense, with Hamas units composed of cells with 5 to 10 gunmen each. The IDF predicts the intense fighting may last for several days, and following that, they will dismantle the remaining Hamas infrastructure in the area.

Thus far, the ground war in Gaza has been focused on the northern half of the coastal enclave. However, as the war progresses, IDF troops will continue to move south to thoroughly dismantle Hamas infrastructure.