Three IDF soldiers killed, 6 seriously hurt during fighting in southern Gaza on Friday

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

L-R: Sgt. Dolev Malka, Sgt. Afik Tery and Sgt. Inon Yitzhak, killed in the southern Gaza Strip on March 1, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)
L-R: Sgt. Dolev Malka, Sgt. Afik Tery and Sgt. Inon Yitzhak, killed in the southern Gaza Strip on March 1, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

The IDF announces the deaths of three soldiers killed during fighting in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday, raising the toll of slain troops in the ground offensive against Hamas to 245.

They are named as:

Sgt. Dolev Malka, 19, of the Bislamach Brigade’s 450th Battalion, from Shlomi

Sgt. Afik Tery, 19, of the Bislamach Brigade’s 450th Battalion, from Rehovot

Sgt. Inon Yitzhak, 19, Bislamach Brigade’s 450th Battalion, from Mitzpe Ramon

Malka, Tery and Yitzhak were killed and 14 other troops were wounded, six of them seriously, as a result of a blast in a booby-trapped building in the Khan Younis area.

The troops had raided a two-story structure, which was booby-trapped with explosive devices both inside and outside the building, according to an initial IDF probe.

The force that entered the building were hit by two explosive devices, leading to two soldiers being trapped inside. The Air Force’s search and rescue Unit 669 was then dispatched to the scene.

According to the IDF’s probe, several Hamas operatives were killed by troops in the area during the incident.

The 98th Division is investigating the way the troops scanned the building, the way in which the explosives were planted and other circumstances surrounding the deadly incident.

The Bislamach Brigade — the IDF’s School for Infantry Corps Professions and Squad Commanders in wartime — entered Gaza on Thursday to replace the Paratroopers Brigade, which had been withdrawn after three straight months of fighting in Khan Younis.

The three slain soldiers, formerly of the Kfir Brigade’s Nahshon Battalion, were in a squad commander’s course.

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