Photo by IDF Spokesperson on 16 June, 2024

Israel Announces ‘Tactical Pause’ in South Gaza Fighting, 10 Soldiers Killed Over Weekend

Public By Pesach Benson • 16 June, 2024

Jerusalem, 16 June, 2024 (TPS) -- The Israel Defense Forces announced a “tactical pause” in military operations along a corridor used for delivering humanitarian aid in southern Gaza, while also confirming that 10 soldiers were killed in Gaza in two separate attacks.

The “tactical pause” in daylight operations along a humanitarian corridor in southern Gaza. The pause, between 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM, applies to a road connecting the Kerem Shalom border crossing with the area of Khan Younis.

“This is an additional step in the humanitarian aid efforts that have been conducted by the IDF and COGAT since the beginning of the war,” the IDF said.

Meanwhile, the military also confirmed that 10 soldiers were killed during the weekend.

In Rafah’s Tel Sultan neighborhood, all eight soldiers aboard an armored personnel carrier were killed on Saturday when their vehicle was attacked by an explosive device or anti-tank rocket. All served in the Combat Engineering Corps’ 601st Battalion.

The casualties were identified as Cpt. Wassem Mahmoud, 23; Sgt. Eliyahu Moshe Zimbalist, 21; Sgt. Itay Amar, 19; Sgt. Stanislav Kostarev, 21; Sgt. Or Blumovitz, 20; and Sgt. Oz Yeshaya Gruber, 20. The names of the two other soldiers are due to be released.

Meanwhile, in the northern Gaza Strip, two soldiers were killed and another two seriously injured when their tank was attacked with explosives. The fallen soldiers were identified as Cpt. (res.) Eitan Koplovich, 28, and Warrant Officer (res.) Elon Waiss, 49. The tank crew was part of the 8th Reserve Armored Brigade’s 129th Battalion.

“Today we received an additional painful reminder of the price of war and that behind the achievements of the war stand brave soldiers, heroes, who were willing to sacrifice their lives for the State of Israel, which is the common home for all of us – Jews, Druze, Bedouins, Muslims and Christians – all citizens of Israel,” said IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari.

Separately, the IDF also announced that one soldier, 19-year-old Sgt. Yair Roitman died of injuries sustained when a booby-trapped building exploded and collapsed earlier in June. Four other soldiers were killed and six injured in that attack.

At least 1,200 people were killed, and 252 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the 116 remaining hostages, more than 30 are believed dead.