Four Israeli soldiers killed in Rafah house explosion: military

The Israeli mlitary is currentyl carrying out a military camapign in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, where the explosion occurred [Getty/file photo]

The Israeli military said on Tuesday that four soldiers had been killed in fighting in southern Gaza the previous day, more than eight months into its the country’s brutal war in the enclave.

The soldiers were “killed in fighting in south Gaza” on Monday, the military said in a statement, without elaborating on the circumstances of their deaths.

Israeli public broadcaster Kan said that the soldiers were killed in an explosion in a building in Gaza’s far-southern city of Rafah, which has been subject to a brutal military offensive since May 7, carried out in violation of an International Court of Justice order urging a halt to any attacks.

On Monday evening, Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said its fighters had “booby-trapped” a building in the Shabura refugee camp in Rafah.

“The Qassam mujahideen were able to detonate a booby-trapped house inside which a Zionist force was holed up, leaving members of the (Israeli) force dead and wounded,” the group said in a statement.

The Times of Israel reported that seven soldiers were also wounded in the blast, five of them seriously.

The latest deaths mean that 298 Israeli soldiers have been killed, according to the Israeli military, since the start of the war in Gaza on October 7.

Foreign governments, including US ally Israel, had opposed the operation in Rafah, out of concern for the safety of thousands of Palestinian sheltering in the city. Well over a million have since fled, seeking refuge where they can, despite the precarious conditions throughout the enclave.

Israel’s retaliatory military campaign has killed at least 37,164 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, with thousands more feared to be trapped under rubble.

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