Defense Ministry contractor dies after southern Gaza mortar attack

Liron Yitzhak, 30, was fatally wounded in Rafah area on Monday; 8 troops and another civilian ministry worker also hurt in incident

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Liron Yitzhak (right) a Defense Ministry contractor fatally by a mortar in the southern Gaza Strip on May 13, 2024, and died of his wounds on May 15. (Courtesy)
Liron Yitzhak (right) a Defense Ministry contractor fatally by a mortar in the southern Gaza Strip on May 13, 2024, and died of his wounds on May 15. (Courtesy)

Liron Yitzhak, 30, a Defense Ministry contractor who was wounded in a mortar attack in the southern Gaza Strip earlier this week, died on Wednesday, the ministry and hospital officials said.

Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva says Yitzhak was brought to the medical center with a critical head injury following the mortar attack on Monday.

After two days, medical officials declared his death, the hospital said.

In addition to Yitzhak, the mortar attack in the Rafah area left eight soldiers wounded, including two seriously, and another Defense Ministry contractor lightly hurt.

Yitzhak, from Petah Tikva, was survived by his fiancée, to whom he was supposed to get married in two weeks, his parents, and two siblings.

The Defense Ministry said, “Yitzhak was carrying out work on behalf of a company contracted by the Defense Ministry, as part of assistance to IDF troops operating in Gaza.”

Smoke billows during Israeli strikes in eastern Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 13, 2024. (AFP)

Also Wednesday, an officer of the Paratroopers Brigade’s 202nd Battalion was seriously wounded during a battle with terror operatives in the northern Gaza Strip, the military announced.

Another two soldiers were moderately hurt in the same incident.

To date, 273 soldiers have been killed during the ongoing ground offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and amid operations along the border.

Another 1,712 soldiers have been wounded in the ground operation — 338 seriously wounded, 566 moderately and 808 lightly, according to Israel Defense Forces data.

The ground operation followed three weeks of aerial bombardments in the wake of the Hamas-led massacre on October 7, when more than 3,000 Palestinian terrorists stormed the border into southern Israel and killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and kidnapped 252, amid many acts of brutality and sexual assault.

Israel declared war on Hamas in response, launching an offensive aimed at toppling the Gaza-ruling terror group and securing the release of the hostages.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says more than 35,000 people in the Strip have been killed in the fighting so far, a toll that cannot be independently verified. The United Nations says some 24,000 fatalities have been identified at hospitals at this time. The rest of the total figure is based on murkier Hamas “media reports.” It also includes some 15,000 terror operatives Israel says it has killed in battle. Israel also says it killed some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

Most Popular
read more: