2 IDF officers killed in northern Gaza, as dozens of terror targets razed in Shejaiya

Cpt. Elay Elisha Lugasi and Cpt. Roy Miller are killed in separate battles, raising ground op toll to 324; anti-aircraft missile fired from Gaza hits home in evacuated Kfar Maimon

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

Cpt. Elay Elisha Lugasi, left, and Cpt. Roy Miller, killed in separate battles in the northern Gaza Strip on July 3, 2024. (Courtesy)
Cpt. Elay Elisha Lugasi, left, and Cpt. Roy Miller, killed in separate battles in the northern Gaza Strip on July 3, 2024. (Courtesy)

Two Israeli officers were killed in separate battles in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, the military announced.

The slain soldiers were named as Cpt. Elay Elisha Lugasi, 21, a team commander in the 7th Armored Brigade’s 75th Battalion, from Kiryat Shmona. He was killed in fighting in Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighborhood; and Cpt. Roy Miller, 21, a platoon commander in the Givati Brigade’s Rotem Battalion, from Herzliya.

Three more soldiers of the 75th Battalion were seriously wounded in the same incident in which Lugasi was killed, and an officer and a soldier of the Rotem Battalion were seriously wounded in the incident in which Miller was killed, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Their deaths brought Israel’s toll in the ground offensive against Hamas in Gaza and in military operations along the border with the Strip to 324.

On Wednesday morning, the IDF said some 50 sites belonging to terror groups in Shejaiya had been demolished by the Paratroopers Brigade over the previous 24 hours.

The military said the paratroopers located tunnels shafts and caches of weapons during raids in the Shejaiya area.

Israeli soldiers operate in the Gaza Strip in an undated photo released for publication on July 3, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

Meanwhile, in southern Gaza’s Rafah, the army said its airstrikes had destroyed more sites and killed several operatives.

And in the Netzarim Corridor in central Gaza, the military said it had carried out drone strikes against additional operatives.

In the late afternoon of Wednesday, the IDF said an anti-aircraft missile launched from the Gaza Strip had struck a home in the evacuated southern Israeli community of Kfar Maimon, causing damage.

There were no reports of injuries. Sirens had sounded in the community amid the incident.

The Hamas terror group has at times tried to attack Israeli aircraft with shoulder-launched missiles.

The war in Gaza was started by Hamas’s October 7 attack, in which Palestinian terrorists killed some 1,200 people and seized 251 hostages. Israel responded with a military campaign to destroy the Gaza-ruling terror group and free the hostages.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says close to 38,000 people in the Strip have been killed or are presumed dead in the fighting so far, though the toll cannot be verified and does not differentiate between civilians and fighters. Israel says it has killed some 15,000 combatants in battle and some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel during the October 7 attack.

Agencies and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report. 

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