A group of 30 IDF reserve soldiers notified their commanders that they would refuse to enter the Gaza Strip in M-113 armored personnel carriers, military vehicles designed by the US Army in the 1960s and first used during the Vietnam War.
The M-113, which has been in IDF use for several decades, is considered by most military experts to be unsuited for urban warfare, as its armor cannot withstand a direct hit from antitank missiles fired at close range.
While the reservist unit has not yet been designated to enter the Hamas-controlled enclave, the soldiers nevertheless demanded that the army equip them with sufficiently protected vehicles, Channel 10 reported.
On Saturday, during heavy clashes in the Gaza neighborhood of Shejaiya, Hamas fighters fired a missile at an M-113 carrier, resulting in the deaths of six of the seven IDF soldiers who were on board, with the seventh MIA but presumed killed.
Following the deadly battle in Shejaiya, Sami Turgeman, the commander of the IDF Southern Command, said that the army was aware of the M-113’s faults but did not have the means to provide full protection to every soldier entering the Strip.