Middle East

Return of all hostages in Gaza will not be achieved ‘through military operations’: Israeli army

Army spokesperson says experts to investigate Rafah incident that killed 8 soldiers, including at least 1 officer

Said Amori  | 16.06.2024 - Update : 16.06.2024
Return of all hostages in Gaza will not be achieved ‘through military operations’: Israeli army

JERUSALEM

The Israeli army said Saturday that the return of all hostages in the Gaza Strip will not be achieved “through military operations.”

Army spokesperson Daniel Hagari noted at a news conference broadcast by Channel 12 that a team of experts would conduct a thorough investigation into the incident in Rafah, where eight soldiers, including at least one officer, were killed.

The army acknowledged earlier in the day the deaths of the soldiers when an armored vehicle was hit by an explosive device in Tel Sultan camp. The deaths brought the number of army fatalities since the beginning of the war on Oct. 7 to 658, including 306 in ground battles that started on the 27 of the same month.

The al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, announced the group carried out a “compound ambush” in Rafah that targeted Israeli soldiers, resulting in deaths and injuries.

Nearly 37,300 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by the Israeli forces since October, most of them women and children, and almost 85,200 others injured, according to local health authorities.

More than eight months into the Israeli onslaught, vast tracts of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.


*Writing by Rania Abu Shamala in Istanbul


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