ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Jerusalem school principal one of 5 more soldiers killed in Gaza; deadly blast from booby-trapped tunnel

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

L-R: Maj. (res.) Moshe Yedidyah Leiter, Sgt. Maj. (res.) Yossi Hershkovitz, Master Sgt. (res.) Sergey Shmerkin, Master Sgt. (res.) Netanel (Nati) Harush, who were killed in the Gaza Strip on November 10, 2023. (Courtesy)
L-R: Maj. (res.) Moshe Yedidyah Leiter, Sgt. Maj. (res.) Yossi Hershkovitz, Master Sgt. (res.) Sergey Shmerkin, Master Sgt. (res.) Netanel (Nati) Harush, who were killed in the Gaza Strip on November 10, 2023. (Courtesy)

The Israel Defense Forces announces the death of five soldiers during fighting yesterday in the northern Gaza Strip.

They are:

Maj. (res.) Moshe Yedidyah Leiter, 39, a company commander in the 551st Brigade’s 697th Battalion, from Ein Tzurim.

Sgt. Maj. (res.) Yossi Hershkovitz, 44, a soldier in the 551st Brigade’s 697th Battalion, from Gevaot.

Master Sgt. (res.) Matan Meir, 38, a soldier in the 551st Brigade’s 697th Battalion, from Odem.

Master Sgt. (res.) Sergey Shmerkin, 32, a soldier in the 551st Brigade’s 697th Battalion, from Kiryat Shmona.

Master Sgt. (res.) Netanel (Nati) Harush, 34, a soldier in the Givati Brigade’s logistics unit, from Jerusalem.

The four soldiers of the 697th Battalion were killed by a blast from a booby-trapped tunnel shaft next to a mosque in the Beit Hanoun area. The troops were not inside the tunnel.

Their deaths bring the toll of slain soldiers in Israel’s ground operation in the Gaza Strip to 42.

Hershkovitz was the principal of the Pelech Boys School in Jerusalem. Jerusalem educators hailed him in a statement as a figure of multiple qualities and activities and an educational leader, and noted that he had been “fighting in the south from the first day.”

Additionally, the IDF says an officer and four soldiers in the 551st Brigade’s 697th Battalion were seriously wounded yesterday during fighting in northern Gaza, and a commander in the Golani Brigade’s 12th Battalion was seriously wounded in central Gaza.

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