International

Eight Israeli Soldiers Killed In Southern Gaza

The deaths will likely fuel calls for a cease-fire and heighten Israeli public anger over ultra-Orthodox exemptions from the military.

AP
Eight Israeli Soldiers Killed In Southern Gaza | Photo: AP
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Jerusalem: Israel's military said on Saturday that eight soldiers were killed in southern Gaza in the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

Only one of the dead troops was identified by the army. No further information was immediately available.

The deaths will likely fuel calls for a cease-fire and heighten Israeli public anger over ultra-Orthodox exemptions from the military.

In January, 21 Israeli troops were killed in a single attack by Palestinian militants in Gaza.

Months of cease-fire negotiations have failed to find common ground between Israeli and Hamas. On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Hamas proposed changes to a US-backed plan, some of which he said were “workable” and some not, without elaborating.

Israel's bombardment and ground offensives in Gaza have killed more than 37,000 Palestinians, according to Palestinian health officials, who don't give the breakdown of civilians and fighters. The war has also driven about 80 per cent of the population of 2.3 million from their homes, and Israeli restrictions and ongoing fighting have hindered efforts to bring in humanitarian aid, fuelling widespread hunger.

Israel launched its campaign after Hamas and other militants stormed into Israel on October 7, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 250 hostage. Over 100 hostages were released during a weeklong cease-fire last year in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. Hamas is believed to be holding around 80 hostages and the remains of another 40. 

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