By Yoav Zitun – YNet
Thirteen Golani Brigade soldiers were killed in the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours in several different incidents, the IDF cleared for publication on Sunday evening, bringing the number of killed soldiers in Operation Protective Edge to 18.
Several other soldiers have been wounded during military operations in the Strip and have been taken to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva, the Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer and the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
The IDF was still working to identify the troops. When all have been identified, and with the families’ consent, the names of the troops will be released. The families of the killed and wounded soldiers have already been notified.
Making a statement to the press, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said that while the army suffered more losses in the past 24 hours than it did in previous days, “we understand that in battle, some are killed. But we know that this is our job and this is what we’re doing.”
“The battles in some of these areas are both complex and difficult and despite that we remain determined to reach our objectives,” Gantz added.
The chief of staff praised the work of the IDF soldiers and said the army was continuing to expand and intensify its operations. “Terrorists are hit, infrastructure is hit and destroyed in every area we enter.”
Five other soldiers have been killed since the ground phase of Operation Protective Edge started on Thursday night.
Four soldiers have been killed on Saturday.
Second Lieutenant Bar Rahav, a 21-year-old Engineering Corps soldier from Ramat Yishai, was killed by an anti-tank missile that hit the engineering vehicle in which he was driving in the Strip. Staff Sergeant Bnaya Rubel, a 20-year-old infantryman from Holon, was killed in a firefight, in which an IDF officer was also moderately wounded.
Major Amotz Greenberg, 45, and Sergeant Adar Barsano, 20, were killed in a firefight after Hamas terrorists infiltrated into Israel from a tunnel in the Gaza Strip.
On Thursday night, Nahal Brigade soldier Eitan Barak, 20, became the first IDF soldier to be killed in the operation.