One-in-five Israeli soldier deaths in Gaza due to friendly fire and accidents, Israel's military claims

One-in-five Israeli soldier deaths in Gaza due to friendly fire and accidents, Israel's military claims
Israel says it lost 105 soldiers since the start of its Gaza campaign on 7 October, with friendly fire accounting for one in five deaths.
2 min read
12 December, 2023
Over 100 Israeli soldiers have been killed since the ground assault on Gaza began [Getty]

Nearly one in five Israeli soldiers who have died in the brutal assault on Gaza were killed in friendly fire and other accidents, according to the Israeli military.

At least 20 of 105 Israeli soldiers killed since the ground offensive on Gaza began on 20 October were accidental, the Israeli military claimed on Tuesday.

Thirteen of those deaths were due to airstrikes, tank shelling, and gunfire from Israeli forces, while two soldiers were run over by Israeli armoured vehicles, The Times of Israel reported.

The Israeli military put these deaths down to the high concentration of troops in occupied Gaza, communication issues, and fatigue.

Seven Israeli soldiers were reported dead in Gaza on Monday - including a major and captain - six from fighting near Khan Younis and another in a traffic accident.

In a sign of possible difficulties faced by Israeli soldiers in their offensive in southern Gaza, Israel had to airdrop equipment to soldiers for the first time since the 2006 Lebanon war.

Hamas has carried out repeated counter-attacks on Israeli forces, with footage showing fighters emerging from tunnels that run through the territory. It has broadcast video of several of these attacks.

Live Story

Israel launched its indiscriminate assault on Gaza on 7 October with airstrikes and shelling, targeting schools, hospitals and residential areas and killing at least 18,412 Palestinians, most of them women and children.

The UN has said over half of Gaza's 2.2 million population has been displaced in Israel's offensive on the enclave, one of the most densely populated areas of the world.

The perceived invincibility of the Israeli military was dented when Hamas launched a surprise assault in southern Israel on 7 October, which Israel says killed around 1,200 people.

Israel called up reservists for the ground offensive which focused on northern Gaza and has now moved to the south of the enclave where hundreds of thousands of people are taking refuge and at serious risk of exposure, hunger, and disease.